Drogba rallies Essien support
Ivorian striker Didier Drogba, has rallied support for his Chelsea team mate Michael Essien in what he described as “difficult times for the Ghanaian midfielder”.
Essien has metamorphosed into a near unpopular figure after excusing himself from international duty for an unspecified period.
Drogba, who will lead the Elephants in a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin in Accra this weekend, told a media briefing on Thursday that Essien remains committed to the national cause and must be supported at this moment.
“Every player feels proud to play for his national team. Essien has gone through difficult times and rather than criticising him, he must be shown more love and care.
“Do you think that a player like Essien would not want to play at the World Cup?” Drogba quizzed in respect of the Ghanaian midfielder who missed out on the World Cup due to injury.
The Cote d’Ivoire Captain, who requested to be left out of the Elephants matches after the World Cup, has lauded Essien’s self imposed exile from national duty.
“He has made a good decision and he must be supported,” Drogba added.
Drogba insists he has fond memories of Ghana following his coronation as African Footballer of the Year in 2007 and the Africa Cup of Nations a year later, and is envisaging victory against Benin to complete a hat-trick of trips to Ghana.
“I am happy to be in Ghana again. Benin have always been difficult to beat. We have been preparing feverishly and are positive about the maximum points.”
The Elephants lead the pack in the group with six points from two games and victory against Les Ecuriels will move them closest to the final tournament to be staged in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in 2012.