Rio Ferdinand picks Michael Essien as one of the best midfielders to grace English football
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Rio Ferdinand picks Michael Essien as one of the best midfielders to grace English football

Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien is one of the top midfielders he has ever faced in his career.

Ferdinand was reminiscing on some top African midfielders and Essien was on those players he heaped praises on.

The 41-year-old has played against some of Africa's greatest players over an impressive career spanning 20 years in English football.

During his time with West Ham United, Leeds United, Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers, he went head-to-head with some of the game’s top enforcers, players who drove top teams forward with strength, power and indefatigable stamina.

“I’m talking [about] players like [Michael] Essien, Yaya Toure, Cheick Tiote,” said the Guinness Night Football ambassador.

“Big players, strong, big presence. When they get [on the ball], they can do [things with it] as well.”

“Yaya Toure is the only player who’s turned and faced, and I’ve gone, ‘Oh no!’” he said.