Former Ghana international, Michael Essien, has applauded the role of his former club, Olympique Lyonnaise, in developing him into a mature player when he joined the club from Bastia as a 20-year-old in 2003.
When the 37-year-old midfielder joined Lyon, he enjoyed a very successful stint that saw him win two Ligue 1 titles and played in several Champions League games before joining Chelsea in 2005.
Two years later, Essien joined Chelsea in a move that saw him rub shoulders with Europe’s greats at the Stamford Bridge.
The former Real Madrid star praised the ability of the club to nurture young talents as has been done to him and many other stars in Europe.
“It moved me from being a young player to a senior player at a big club, so, it helped me grow up and feature on the big stage”, he told 3news.com.
“I gained a lot of experience in a short space of time.
“I think the set-up of the club as a whole and the longevity of the president [has helped], there has been continuity and they also know how to develop good players.
“The two titles and Champions League games will be my favorite memories.”
Michael Essien scored 7 goals for Lyon, winning 4 trophies; two Ligue 1 titles, and two Trophée des Champions.
Since leaving Lyon Essien played for dream clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Chelsea. He recently announced he has left Azerbaijani club, Sabail, and is without a club at the moment.