Ghana international Michael Essien says he will return to the local topflight to end his career at former club Liberty Professionals where his professional football journey began in 1998.
The 35-year-old was answering a question about his future beyond 1st April at a press conference in Bandung, where he now plays for Indonesian side Persib.
"Well, I think it would be good to return home," Essien said. "It has always been my dream to come full circle and finish my career in my home country, at the club where it all began."
“I still have a soft spot for Liberty Professionals in Ghana where my dream of becoming a top professional footballer began unfolding on April first 1998.
“I know the fans out there would be happy to see me every weekend playing in the local topflight, and it would also be my humble contribution to improving the league which observers say lacks top players,” he said.
Essien became a household name in the West African country when he joined Premier League giants Chelsea from French side Lyon in 2005, spending nine seasons at Stamford Bridge, including a loan spell at Real Madrid.
He was also on the books of Italian team AC Milan and Panathinaikos of Greece.
Two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a Uefa Champions League in 2012 are some of his major achievements as a professional footballer. But now he will be able to compete for the coveted GPL title again after all these years.
He boasts of 58 appearances and nine goals with the Black Stars since joining the team in 2002. Although Essien is yet to announce his international retirement, he no longer earns call-ups to the outfit which he last represented in 2014 at the Fifa World Cup in Brazil.
Liberty Professionals are currently on 11 th position after eight games of the Ghana Premier League and will face newcomers Elmina Sharks on Saturday April 1.
“I follow Liberty’s campaign in the GPL constantly and I believe the club’s future is still very bright, especially on the 1st of April.” Essien said.