Michael Kojo Essien is a Ghanaian footballer who plays for Chelsea FC and Ghana national team. Essien began his career playing for Liberty Professionals in his home country. In 2000, he moved to France joining SC Bastia. Essien spent three seasons at the club appearing in over 60 matches before joining league champions Olympique Lyonnais in 2003. At Lyon, Essien won back-to-back league titles in 2003–04 and 2004–05 and also played in the UEFA Champions League for the first time. During his five-year stint in France, he acquired French citizenship. In 2005, Essien signed with Chelsea for a fee of On August 14, 2005, Lyon and Chelsea agreed a £26 million fee for the Ghanaian, finally ending one of the longest-running transfer sagas and at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history.