Michael Essien has been one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world over the past decade although his career has been slowed somewhat by injuries.
GHANAIAN NATIONAL TEAM
Making his debut in 2002, Essien has registered over 50 caps for the Black Stars. He started three games for his country at the 2006 World Cup but did not appear at the 2010 World Cup. He took a four year break from the national team, returning in September 2013.
Essien started his professional career with Bastia and Lyon in Ligue 1, making more than 135 appearances over the course of five seasons. He arrived at Chelsea prior to the 2005-06 season and instantly became one of the club's top players. In his first season with the club they captured the Premier League title. After some injury plagued years he was loaned out to Real Madrid for the 2012-13 and was signed away prior to the 2013-14 season.