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Michael Essien: The Sad Story of How Only Two Real Madrid Players Showed Up for His 30th Birthday
- Ghana legend Michael Essien turns 41 years old today
- The former Chelsea star had a surprise birthday party during his time at Real Madrid
- Essien retired from football in 2020 and now works as assistant manager at FC Nordsjaelland
Legendary Ghanaian midfielder, Michael Essien turned 41 on December 3, 2023.
The former Black Stars midfielder enjoyed a stellar career playing for some of the best clubs in the world, including AC Milan and Real Madrid.
But it was his time in Spain that raised one of the most memorable moments in his illustrious career.
In 2012, while on loan at Real Madrid, Essien invited his teammates to his 30th birthday but only two players showed up.
Luka Modric and ex-Chelsea teammate Ricardo Carvalho were the only members of Los Blancos to attend the party.
This left manager Jose Mourinho livid, calling Real Madrid a political club as reported by Rob Beasley, in the book, 'Jose Mourinho, Up Close and Personal.'
"Mourinho said that Madrid was a political club with warring factions and told me a story about Essien inviting teammates to his 30th birthday but only a few turned up," he said, as quoted by Sports Bible.
"He had to console Essien, saying it was nothing personal and that it didn't mean the players didn't like him but they simply were only concerned with themselves and had better things to do."
Real Madrid ended the 2012/13 season trophyless, finishing second in La Liga and Copa Del Rey. They also reached the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.
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The Portuguese gaffer had established a strong bond with the players, delivering back-to-back English Premier League titles for the club.
However, in 2007, he was sacked by owner Roman Abramovic following a poor start to the season.