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I miss playing football but I am focused on coaching – Michael Essien

Former Ghana international, Michael Essien, has embarked on a new journey as a coach with FC Nordsjælland, transitioning from the thrill of the pitch to the strategic sidelines.

Renowned for his midfield mastery, Essien now finds joy in nurturing budding talents at the Danish club, though he admits occasional pangs of nostalgia for his playing days.

In a recent interview with Right to Dream, Essien delves into his coaching odyssey, highlighting the stark contrasts between coaching and playing. Despite occasional yearnings for the field, Essien underscores his wholehearted commitment to coaching, a path he seamlessly embraced upon retiring from active play.

“I think preparation is key. I began my coaching license before hanging up my boots. So, the transition to coaching was smooth. Coaching is a different ball game altogether from playing. I’m fully focused on coaching. Sure, there are times I miss playing, but once you’ve made the switch, you’re all in,” he explains.

At FC Nordsjælland, Essien is deeply invested in sculpting the next generation of football luminaries. He takes pride in being part of an institution that prioritizes nurturing young talents, imparting invaluable wisdom to aid their career progression.

“Overall, I’m thrilled to be part of this organization’s vision. It’s one of the best setups I’ve encountered because we’re dedicated to grooming the boys for the footballing world, equipping them with knowledge to navigate their careers,” he shares.

Known for his humility, Essien deflects accolades onto others while emphasizing the significance of hard work and humility for aspiring young footballers.

“I consider myself generally content. I thrive on positivity in every circumstance. When you step into your workplace and receive positive vibes, it fuels productivity. I prefer a serene lifestyle, staying humble, respectful, and committed to hard work. That’s my advice to all young players,” he adds.

Essien’s illustrious career boasts numerous titles and accolades, including the BBC African Footballer of the Year and multiple appearances in the CAF Team of the Year.

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