Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien joins fellow team-mate Michael Ballack as another of the club’s stars who will miss the World Cup this summer after a combined team of experts from Chelsea and the GFA (Ghana Football Association) ruled that Essien would only make a full recovery towards the end of July.
Both Essien and Ballack are captains of their national sides and it remains to be seen how their teams will cope without them. Coming to think about it, Ballack must be the most unlucky player i have ever seen. May be his shirt number has something to do with it.
Talent has nothing to do with it because as we all know the German possesses loads of it. However looking back at the number of finals he has lost both for club and country reveals a very disturbing pattern.
In 2002, his club Bayer Leverkusen lost 2-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League final. This after surrending a 5 point lead a top the Bundesliga to ‘hand’ Borussia Dortmund the title. To make it worse for Bayer Leverkusen, they lost 4-2 to Schalke 04 in the German Cup final. Later on that year, his national side were losing finalists to Brazil in the world cup.
This bad fortune seems to have begun two years earlier when Leverkusen were dealt the cruel hand of fate after Ballack’s own goal saw them lose 2-0 to minnows Unterhaching in a match that everyone expected them to win as a draw would have won them the Bundesliga title. Bayern eventually won the title after beating Weder Bremen 3-1 and the list goes on.
Essien on the hand will miss out on the chance of being a part of history as he will fail to take part in Africa’s maiden World cup festivities. Essien is the rock of the Ghanaian national team and Milovan Rajevac will have a hard time replacing him.
That said, the Ghanaian side is still a very decent squad and even without Essien, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Photo Credit: from gary8345