By James K. Attaglo Wilson

The greatest Ghanaian midfielder of all-time, Michael Essien has shared his delight for toppling Juninho Pernambucano to win the 2005 French Ligue 1 Player of the Year Award.

The Ghanaian stalwart who joined Lyon from Bastia in 2003, winning two French Ligue 1 titles with the team became an oracle in midfield for the French champions in 2005 having missed just a single game in the entire season.

Essien [37] also helped Lyon to reach the quarter-finals of the 2004/2005 UEFA Champions League, scoring five goals in the tournament.

Speaking with Carol Tsabalala via instagram Essien said the news struck him as a surprise considering the form of teammate – Juninho at the time.

”I was in competition with my own teammate Juninho, who was a magician because he could do anything with the ball so to beat him to the award was quite an achievement.” he said.

”I was a bit emotional, but happy. Winning the best player in France at that time was huge,” he added.
Michael Essien moved to Chelsea in the summer of 2005 for a staggering £24.4 million, becoming Chelsea’s most expensive signing of all-time then.