Following his deadline-day loan move to Real Madrid from Chelsea, Michael Essien has claimed it would be a great achievement to win the UEFA Champions League with the Spanish club, which is aiming for an unprecedented 10th European crown.
The 29-year-old central midfielder, who has been with Chelsea since 2005, was positive about being reunited with Jose Mourinho, but admitted he was surprised to have moved to Madrid.
"When I returned to Chelsea I never imagined that this could happen, but football is full of surprises," Essien, the Ghanaian player to feature in El Clasico, told Marca. "It's no secret that Jose Mourinho has had a huge influence on my career since I arrived in England.
"So when he showed an interest in bringing me to Madrid I did not hesitate at all. One minute I was preparing to play in the Super Cup (with Chelsea) in Monaco, and the next I was packing to travel to Madrid. Mourinho expects his players to work hard, and he always demands the most of them. He aspires to win all competition, he is a winner and he will always be a winner."
Essien won the Champions League with Chelsea last season and he hopes to help Madrid record another continental title while pulling off the unique feat of winning in consecutive seasons for different teams.
"It would be a great achievement for the club and for city, and it would also be great, at a personal level, to win two consecutive Champions Leagues," Essien said.