Michael Essien: Ghanaian joins Indonesian side Persib Bandung


Former Chelsea and Ghana midfielder Michael Essien has joined Indonesian side Persib Bandung.

The 34-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the option of an extension.

Essien told the club’s website: “Thank you for bringing me here. I’m excited and want to give my best.”

Teddy Tjahyono, part of the Persib Bandung management, said: “The reason to bring Michael Essien is in order to increase the value of competition in Indonesia.”

He added: “Opening the door to the other world players to strengthen the team in Indonesia.

“The process to bring in players to this part of the world is quite difficult. It took months to negotiate.”

Essien, who has also played for Real Madrid and AC Milan, is the highest profile signing for Indonesian football since Cameroon World Cup hero Roger Milla and Argentine World Cup winner Mario Kempes played in the country in the 1990s.

The midfielder has been a free agent since leaving Greek club Panathinaikos at the end of last season.

He won the Champions League, two Premier League titles and four FA Cups during nine seasons at Chelsea.

Essien also played at two World Cups for Ghana, who he represented 58 times, before retiring in the wake of the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

Based in Bandung in West Java, Persib are one of the best supported clubs in Indonesia and finished third in the recently completed President’s Cup.

The start date for the new league season in Indonesia has yet to be announced.