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11.11.2008 Sports News

Essien reveals Ghana pressure

Essien reveals Ghana pressure

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien says there is more pressure in playing for the Ghana national team than the English side.

The 25-year-old is recovering from knee ligament injury sustained while playing for the Black Stars in September.

Even though Essien is very proud of playing for his country, he says there is a huge weight of expectation playing for the Stars.

"There is pressure in playing for Ghana than playing for Chelsea. There's is no doubt about that," Essien said.

"The people of my country love football so much that when we don't win we get ourselves in trouble."

Despite feeling the heat from the supporters of the Black Stars, Essien is always happy to serve the national team after coming through the junior ranks of Ghana football.

"I feel very proud when I wear the jersey of my country because we have got many players but I am among the few who have been chosen," the Chelsea enforcer said.

"This makes me want to die when I play for my country because it is a cause worth fighting for.

"It is the only way I can pay my country back for giving me the opportunity to represent them as a child which opened many doors for me."

Essien has been restricted to only two appearances under Luiz Felipe Scolari, who took over as Chelsea's manager in the summer, because of the knee ligament injury.

Scolari expects Essien to return to first-team contention in late January, a month ahead of the schedule predicted by doctors after the 25-year-old had an operation to repair cruciate damage.

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