Monday Apr 27, 2020. 12:00
Legendary Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien should have won the African Footballer of the Year award.
This is according to Derek Boateng, who played with Essien for Ghana’s Black Stars between 2002 and 2013.
Essien finished third in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009 and second in 2007 in the CAF nominations for the most prestigious footballer’s award in Africa.
Former Fulham midfielder Boateng feels that Essien deserved the accolade between 2006 and 2007 as he played his best football at English giants Chelsea.
“He should have won the African best player award, I think in 2006-2007 during his time under [Jose] Mourinho at Chelsea,” Boateng told Goal.
“That time when he came second, we all thought he was going to win and we all felt bad he didn’t win it. He deserved it.
Essien finished second to retired Malian striker Frederic Kanoute in 2007.
“I don’t think he cares o much about it now. He’s always a happy person and thinking positive,” he concluded.
Boateng and Essien helped Ghana finish second at the 2001 Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Ghana.
They were also part of the Black Stars squads at the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.
Essien, 37, is currently on the books of Azerbaijan club Sabail FK, while Boateng has retired from professional football.