Boateng sings Essien's praise

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The erstwhile Fulham star talks about the qualities of his former international teammate

Ex-Ghana international Derek Boateng says Michael Essien's dedication to his trade made the former Chelsea man a standout performer during his prime.

Currently in the twilight of his career and on the books of Indonesian club Persib Bandung, Essien is rated among Ghana's biggest exports ever.

The 34-year-old had spells with Spanish giants Real Madrid, Italian heavyweights AC Milan and French topflight Lyon, but it was during his time at Chelsea that he struck his most accomplishments.

“Essien is so professional, you have no idea," Boateng said on GH One TV.

"Sometimes when we are on break in Europe and we come down to Ghana, Essien wouldn’t come because he was so determined to make it.

"He was the only player at the U-17 level who kept his position throughout the qualifiers to the tournament.

“Essien never lost form in his career and always kept his position. 

"When we come for national assignment and are scheduled to leave the next day, Essien leaves the same day - you can see how serious this guy is."

At Chelsea, Essien won the Premier League on two occasions (2005-2006 and 2009-10).

His trophy haul also includes four FA Cup titles, one League Cup and two Community Shields.

The midfielder also lifted the French Ligue 1 gold two times and the Super Cup twice while playing for Lyon.

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At international level, the utility man was among the group that qualified Ghana to their first ever Fifa World Cup tournament in 2006, going ahead to play at the final tournament.

He also laced his boots for the Black Stars at the 2014 World Cup after missing the 2010 edition due to injury.