Ghana and Panathinaikos midfielder Michael Essien insists it is disappointing not to have won any major international trophy with Ghana despite his success at club level especially at Chelsea.
The 32-year-old started his international career with Ghana in 2002, making his debut against Egypt on January 4, 2002 and subsequently took part in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations but has failed to clinch a single title in three attempts -2002, 2008, 2010- plagued with injuries.
“Playing for your country is an honour. I love my country and I always want to give back to them. It was a disappointment but that’s football,” Essien told The Guardian.
“I could have done with winning the Africa Cup of Nations. You can’t win them all,” he said.
The former Liberty Professional star believes his desire throughout his developmental stages was to play football and not to seek wealth, adding that many African youths play football for other reasons.
“I just want to play football. For me, it’s all about football,” Essien insisted. “That’s a little bit of a problem. Now the kids get too much money too young and they don’t work enough to play the game. They play the game for other reasons, not because they love it,” he said.
“Back home, every kid wants to come to Europe to play as a professional. It’s good for Europe to have the best players coming here too,” he noted. “You have to keep hoping that one day an African team can win the World Cup. You have to keep going, keep trying,” he added.
Essien won one French Ligue 1 title with Lyon, two Premier League titles, four FA Cup and one Uefa Champions League title with Chelsea.
He has been capped 58 times by Ghana since 2002, scoring 9 goals.