Ghana legend Mohammed Polo says Michael Essien must make himself available for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, claiming it is last chance to make history with the Black Stars.
The midfielder, who is on loan at Spanish giants Real Madrid, is struggling to regain his top form after suffering two career-threatening injuries.
Essien has already made history with English side Chelsea where he won the Uefa Champions League trophy before he was loaned out.
Despite his achievements at club level, Polo says Essien’s inability to win titles with the Black Stars makes his playing career incomplete.
“Essien’s coming to the end of his career. This will be an important nations cup for him,” said the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations winner.
“He has been to the World Cup and the Nations’ Cup but is yet to win. It depends on his character as a player who wants to achieve something.”
Essien has not been forthcoming about his future with the Black Stars since returning from injury last season, asking for some time away from the national team.
Polo insists the midfielder must be convinced by the Ghana Football Association to return to the fold but he must be ready to play at full power for the Black Stars.
“It depends on the interaction between him (Essien) and the Black Stars management and the coach. If he wants to come, why not?,” Polo asked.
“But he should be prepared to die for his nation. I played the 1978 Cup of Nations through injury, but no-one knew I was injured because I was prepared to die for it.
“He is now back and playing for no mean side than Real Madrid, such a big stage so I believe he should be talked to.”
Ghana will be fighting for their fifth continental title in South Africa in January where they have been drawn in Group B to play DR Congo, Mali and Niger.