- Frank Arnesen says Chelsea wanted Michael Essien to play in the 2010 World Cup
- The Ghanaian midfielder missed the World Cup in South Africa due to an injury
- The ex-Chelsea star returned with the Black Stars at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Frank Arnesen, the Sporting Director of Chelsea from 2005 to 2010, has disclosed that the club did all they could to get the Ghanaian to represent his country at the 2010 World Cup.
Essien missed the tournament in South Africa after suffering one of the worst injuries in his career - a knee ligament tear.
Despite his absence, the Black Stars reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup and were only denied a semi-final berth by the literal hand of Luis Suarez.
Asamoah Gyan had the opportunity to send Ghana through to the last four but missed from the spot.
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Ghanaians believe the Black Stars would have done much better with the midfielder in the team.
According to Arnesen, the club tried by all means to get Essien fit in time for the World Cup but he just did not recover.
“He had a bad injury knee injury and we went to Paris for tests. Our doctors said Essien cannot play in the AFCON because it’ll be too demanding. We need him to rest,” he told 3Sports, as quoted by Pulse.
“I explained the situation to the Ghana Football Association president and everyone agreed Essien won’t be risked before the World Cup. We put him on a special recovery and managed his game time but he couldn’t make it in time.”
Essien made the team four years later for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
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Ghana were eliminated from the group stage after picking up one point. The Black Stars drew against eventual world champions, Germany.
Essien acquires coaching license
In related coverage, Sports Brief reported on the Ghana legend's journey taking a huge step after Essien acquired his coaching licence.
The 40-year-old recently secured his UEFA A and UEFA Elite Youth A coaching licences from the Welsh Football Association.
Essien, who works as assistant manager at Danish club, FC Nordsjaelland, shared his excitement after completing both courses.