Former Chelsea and Nigeria midfielder, Mikel John Obi has revealed how Michael Essien gave him the confidence to adjust to life at Stamford Bridge.
The former Super Eagles captain joined the English giants in 2006, a year after the former Ghana international had signed for the Blues from Lyon.
The now Kuwait SC player said the big names in the team he used to watch on TV and now his teammates were scaring him, but Essien spoke to him to calm his nerves.
He won the Uefa Champions League, FA Cup, Premier League, Uefa Europa League, Community Shield, and Football League Cup.
In an interview with The Athletic, Mikel said, “Suddenly, I was sharing a dressing room with all these players I had watched on television back in Africa.
“I was sitting next to Lassana Diarra. I would be there thinking, ‘Oh my God, it’s Didier Drogba. It’s Frank Lampard. It’s John Terry’.
“Michael Essien [who joined Chelsea from Lyon in the summer of 2005] really helped me. Michael always told me I was a good player and just reminded me to bring the ball down, control and pass.
“If you need to dribble, dribble. If you don’t need to, just pass. You are strong. You are fast, too. If you can, just push the ball past and run, run, run because they cannot catch you.
“He was the guy who really helped me and made me have a lot of confidence.”
By Adamu Benin Abdul Karim | www.sportyafrica.com