Michael Essien has admitted Jose Mourinho told him they would be teaming up at Chelsea this season when he was with Real Madrid.
The Ghanaian defensive midfielder spent last term on loan at the Santiago Bernabeu and in Mourinho’s final game in charge, a 4-2 win over Osasuna in which he scored, told of his surprise when he celebrated his strike.
“When I scored my last goal for Madrid on the last day of the season I ran over to celebrate with him and was expecting to be congratulated when I hugged him.
“Instead, he leaned over and said he’d see me at pre-season training on July 8. I found that really funny,” Essien wrote in his blog for www.chelseafc.com.
“Now we are back together where we belong and where we spent so many beautiful years, so I hope we can recreate those magical times.”
Essien joined Chelsea from Lyon in 2005 for a reported fee of around €28m, becoming the London club’s record signing ahead of Didier Drogba, and helped them to the Premier League title in his first season.
Success in both the Champions League and FA Cup followed before knee problems hindered his last few years at the club and he was loaned out to Madrid in August 2012.
Now, however, he is hopeful of success with Chelsea and Mourinho a second time around.
“I’m ready to give my all and haven’t lost any desire or motivation. I’ve been working hard over the past few weeks to feel physically and mentally fit for the start of the season.
“We’ll definitely give it a go this year. All the trophies are up for grabs and I can assure you we’ll do our best to bring as many as possible to Stamford Bridge.”