Former Black Stars midfielder, Michael Essien is still struggling to light up Indonesian football after joining Persib Bandung,the biggest club in the country, earlier this year.
In truth, Essien has been fairly better than other former English Premier League stars like Carlton Cole, Peter Odemwingie, Mohamed Sissoko and Didier Zokora who sojourned to the south-east Asian country for pastures anew.
But yet, Essien has hardly been imperious for his new employers. There have been touches, through-balls and the occasional assist and goal, but the former Real Madrid and Chelsea midfielder has not shown the form that so endeared him to the Stamford Bridge faithful.
If Essien, reportedly receiving an annual salary of about $750,000 (£10,000 a week), has not exactly excelled in Indonesia, then the same was true of Didier Zokora at Semen Padang. The midfielder did not score in three seasons with Tottenham and was not going to change that in just over three months in Sumatra. The Ivorian was released as the club struggled to pay his salary after eight matches and no goals.
Of the five former English Premier League stars who went to Indonesia, two have already gone, one is a hero, and the other two players like Essien find themselves somewhere in between.
Indonesia has been attempting to build up its football and league following a turbulent few years in its football administration.
In 2015, there was no league at all as Fifa banned the country from the international game because of government interference in the sport, but that almost came as a relief after years of turmoil. In 2003, the federation chief, Nurdin Halid, was imprisoned for corruption. There followed breakaway federations, leagues and national teams.
Essien and the likes of Carlton Cole were brought in to spice up the league, but as with any serious footballing nations, all imports, famous or not, had better perform from the start if they are to avoid an early exit, and that is especially true at Persib Bandung, where Essien plays.
Essien has played in two FIFA World Cups and also won the UEFA Champions League and Europa League with Chelsea. He also played for Real Madrid and AC Milan in an illustrious career.
Source: The Finder
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