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Michael Essien Joins Indonesian Team Persib Bandung on 1-Year Contract

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2017

Ghana's midfielder Michael Essien takes part in a training session at the Rei Pele stadium in Maceio, on June 13, 2014. Ghana will face the USA in their first match of the 2014 FIFA football World Cup in Natal on June 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA        (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
CARL DE SOUZA/Getty Images

Indonesian side Persib Bandung have announced the signing of Michael Essien on a one-year deal, it was confirmed on Tuesday. 

As reported by Stephen Darwin of Goal, the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder has agreed to the move, with the option included for a second year.

The team's official Twitter feed relayed these snaps of Essien in his new club colours:

PERSIB @persib

Wilujeng sumping! @MichaelEssien resmi jadi bagian keluarga besar #PERSIB #PERSIBSalawasna #84thPEESIB https://t.co/dnqE2P4JeA

The 34-year-old was one of the finest midfielders in world football in his pomp. He played his best football at Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League and four FA Cups.

For a team of Bandung’s status, the signing of the former Ghana international is quite a statement:

B/R Football @brfootball

An amazing coup for football in Indonesia 🇮🇩 Michael Essien joins Persib Bandung. https://t.co/m7sEeFHqqr

However, Essien has said that he expects some more high-profile names to follow him to his new club, per Darwin. 

"I hope I am the prelude to other world players moving to Indonesia," said the veteran. "Hopefully this is a good beginning for Indonesian football and also for Persib. Thank you for bringing me here. I'm excited and want to give my best."

The move will be an exciting new challenge for Essien, having previously represented some of the biggest clubs in European football.

Essien was a big fan favourite at Chelsea.
Essien was a big fan favourite at Chelsea.LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Prior to his move to Chelsea in 2005 he excelled for Lyon, prompting the Blues into paying what was then a club-record fee to land him. Essien went on to enjoy a memorable career at the Bridge, cementing his place in midfield with some authoritative displays and scoring some spectacular goals for the club too.

However, his blistering form for the Blues eventually petered out due to a succession of injury problems, having ruptured his anterior cruciate ligaments in pre-season for the 2011-12 season.

Sadly it was a problem he never quite recovered from during a loan spell with Madrid, in a move to Milan or a brief time with Panathinaikos.

As noted by BBC Sport’s Oluwashina Okeleji, he’s been training with Chelsea's reserves recently in an attempt to keep up his match sharpness:

Oluwashina Okeleji @oluwashina

🇬🇭Essien: "I train with #CFC reserves who are always polite & good to me. I hope to find a club where my family & I would feel comfortable." https://t.co/7L8JaMMqvt

Persib are one of the biggest clubs in Indonesia and were crowned as the nation’s champions as recently as 2014. Essien will don the No. 5 jersey for his new side.