It is time for all Africans and fair minded Soccer fans around the world to speak up, and to remind FIFA that Africa is a vital part of FIFA.
My article is in response to the recent FIFA article published on 21 December 2009 on the FIFA website entitled 'Stars out for the World XI. There is no doubt that Europe, South America, North America etc have produced great Soccer players, but the selection process for World best players is not fair to African players.
I am told that these players are voted by their fellow professional players and coaches, but I am sorry to say the so called professionals are wrong.
In my opinion, players such as John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta are no where near Michael Essien in terms of air power, ability to give accurate passes, stamina, goal scoring ability, discipline on and off the field, ability to play as a right full back, central defender, attacking midfielder and even as a forward.
You be my judge, who among the so called best world midfielders listed above can match Essien in the categories mentioned above.
Essien is an all round player. John Terry is that popular as a defender because Essien is always there to do all the dirty work in midfield to make him look good.
Stephen Gerrard is popular because of the English press; Essien is by far a better midfielder than Gerrard. Xavi and Iniesta are popular because of the Spanish press, but Essien is not popular because the European press will not give him the deserved praises and exposure.
When Essien got injured last season and was sidelined for six months, Chelsea failed to win several games and as a result, a good coach like Scolari was fired by Chelsea. Guus Hidink took over and began winning games as soon as Essien recovered from his injuries.
Furthermore, Chelsea started this season by winning lots of games until Essien got injured again. Every Chelsea fan as well as the Coach and the entire playing body cannot wait to have Essien back from the African Nations games in February 2010.
I have no doubt Great Coaches such as Mourinho, Guss Hidink, Scolari, Wenger, Mancini, Ancelotti, and Ferguson will pick Essien as their number one midfielder ahead of Iniesta, Xavi and Gerrard if given the opportunity.
There is a very good reason why his former Coach Mourinho named him "The Train" and Essien is one of the most disciplined Soccer players I have even known. He does not fight people at the night club like Gerrard does.
He has been consistent as a player by maintaining very good performance as a midfielder throughout his career. He has been very influential at club level at Ghana, France and England. He also played a vital role in all levels of Ghana national teams.
He represented Ghana at several World youth tournaments including the under 17 tournament. He led Ghana to the last World cup in Germany where Ghana was eliminated after the group stage by Brazil because of the absence of Essien due to double yellow cards. He is once again leading Ghana to the World cup for the second time.
Which of these other so called world best midfielders can compare themselves to the achievements of Essien? It is time for Africans and all fair minded Soccer fans around the world to remind the European press and FIFA that the world is watching. God bless Africa.
Source: Nick Amuna
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