Former Black Stars midfielder explains what led to his departure from Chelsea
Micheal Essien disclosed the key reasons why he left Stamford Bridge (Chelsea) after helping the Blues lift their first and only Champions League title in 2012.
According to the Ghanaian international disharmony with management was key as he left for Real Madrid, highlighting that frustrations with then manager Roberto Di Matteo caused him to join the Los Blancos.
Essien played an instrumental role as Chelsea reached their second Champions League final in 2012, but only watched from the bench as the Blues won the title for the first time in their history under Di Matteo, beating Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties after extra time.
Ahead of the 2012/13 season, Essien joined Real Madrid on a season-long-loan from Chelsea, reuniting with ex-Blues boss Jose Mourinho in the Spanish Capital.
What caused Micheal Essien to leave Chelsea FC in 2012
In an interview on Instagram live, Micheal Essien shared some of the reason why he left Chelsea in 2012:
Di Matteo came and obviously I was coming back from injury and I remember we played a Champions League first leg tie against Napoli and we lost. It was an away game. I think that was the last game for Villas-Boas.”
“The return game, he made the decision to put all the big boys in the game; Lampard, Drogba, Makelele and me, and we won 4-1 after extra-time and qualified” – Essien added.
“A couple of weeks later, he [Di Matteo] said I was not match fit which I didn’t appreciate it because if that is the case, why did I play 120 minutes some few weeks ago against Napoli? But anyway everyone sees things differently so I did not mind because I was working for the club.”
“That was when things started declining because I felt a bit down, but then I had gotten an opportunity to go to Real Madrid so I proved to them that I am back. I was playing at right-back at Real Madrid which was one of the most difficult positions on the pitch but I managed to do it.”
How many trophies did Micheal Essien won at Chelsea
Following his loan spell with Real Madrid, Essien left Stamford Bridge to Milan on a permanent deal in 2014, leaving Chelsea with two Premier League titles, four FA Cup trophies, the League Cup and the Community Shield.
Essien 37 is in the twilight of his career and is currently playing for Sabail in Azerbaijan.