Essien, Derek Eye Ghana Premier League Return
Former Ghana international, Derek Boateng has disclosed he and his former playmate/ Michael Essien have had discussions concerning the possibility of playing in the Ghana Premier League before they retire from active football.
Both players played for Dansoman-based Liberty Professionals before a career breakthrough came when they played for the Black Starlets and Black Satellites in 1999 and 2001 respectively.
Despite playing only a handful of games in the Ghana Premier League when they started off, both players went on to have hugely successful careers even if Derek, in particular, didn’t reach the heights many expected him to.
Michael Essien, on the other hand, staged for some of the biggest teams in the World, including Real Madrid and AC Milan, but it was at Chelsea that the ‘Bison’ as he was affectionately called, made his name and won the UEFA Champions League under auspices of Roberto De Matteo in 2012 in Munich.
Both players are in their twilights now, with Essien playing for Indonesian side Persib Bandung while Boateng is club-less, but says his agent is working on a deal which will see him return to club football soon.
When quizzed if playing in the Ghana league now that he is club-less is a possibility, the former Fulham midfielder revealed that it is something he and his childhood friend Essien have discussed in the past.
Speaking on the sideline of the recently held Celebrity Workout, Boateng said “Oh yeah, why not? I don’t have a problem playing in the Ghana Premier League, in fact, it is something me and Essien have talked about before.
“That we should come back home and play for Liberty Professionals before we retire because we really didn’t have a feel of the Ghana league before leaving the shores of Ghana to play in Europe,” he added.
Derek, 34, who won 47 caps for Ghana played for several top teams in Europe, including Fulham in England, Panathinaikos in Greece, Getafe in Spain, and FC Koln in Germany.
Derek was a member of the Black Stars squad that participated in the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Essien also played in two FIFA World Cups for Ghana (2006, 2014).