Michael Essien announces Ghana comeback
midfielder Michael Essien has announced his return to the national team after a one-year absence.
The Chelsea ace temporarily put his Black Stars career on hold last year after suffering two serious injuries while playing for the Black Stars.
But after regaining his form with the English side, Essien says he is available for selection for Ghana’s next game in June.
“I am fully ready to return to the Black Stars for our next Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo,” Essien told BBC Sport.
“After the two serious injuries I asked permission from the Ghana FA to excuse me from Black Stars duties to allow me to fully recover.
“They understood my situation and granted my request because of the injuries I had.
“I really want to help my country to qualify for the next year’s Africa Cup of Nations so I am ready to join my colleagues to help the country to qualify.”
Essien’s absence from the national team has been the subject of intense debate amongst football fans in Ghana.
Some even speculated that he was contemplating retiring from the Black Stars but the Chelsea ace says it never crossed his mind.
“I still have a lot to offer my country and it never crossed my mind to retire from the national team,” Essien said.
“I have never ever said anything like that before. I love my country and I have a lot to give back.”
The injury forced him out of the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola and then the World Cup in South Africa.
Essien has not played for Ghana since a forty-five minute appearance at the 2010 Nations Cup.
The Black Stars will play Congo on 6 June in Group I of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.