Top 5: Ranking the best Africans to play for Real Madrid

2. Michael Essien

In second place is legendary Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien. Coming off of winning the Ligue 1 Player of the Season award in 2005, Essien attracted the attention of growing English giants Chelsea. The London side paid a then club record fee of £24.4 to bring the Ghanaian to England.

Jose Mourinho, who orchestrated Essien’s move to Chelsea, reunited the Ghanian on deadline day of the summer transfer window in 2012 to sign Essien on loan as a last-minute replacement for Lassana Diarra. According to Mourinho, one of the main reasons for the move was the mutual respect between the two.

“Essien plays where I want and does not care. He acts with the same provision with which he decided to come to Madrid making less money than at Chelsea.” Mourinho revealed. At his unveiling, Mourinho referred to Essien as “his son” while Essien referred to Mourinho as his “daddy”.

Essien made 35 appearances in all competitions in his only season with Los Blancos, scoring twice.

Click through the pages below to read about Africa’s top galacticos.