Football

Ex-Chelsea player Essien joins Indonesia's Persib

Michael Essien has joined Indonesia's Persib Bandung, the club announced on social media on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old Ghanaian, a former Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan player, is the biggest signing in Indonesian soccer since Cameroon World Cup hero Roger Milla and Argentine World Cup winner Mario Kempes played in the country in the 1990s.

Essien, who has been a free agent since leaving Greek club Panathinaikos at the end of last season, won the Champions League, two Premier League titles and four FA Cups during nine seasons at Chelsea.

The midfielder also played at two World Cups for Ghana. He retired from international football after the 2014 tournament in Brazil with a total of 58 caps.

Persib posted photographs of a shirt bearing the No. 5 - the number he made his own at Chelsea - with Essien's name across the back, before publishing further pictures of the player posing with club officials.

Based in Bandung in West Java, Persib are one of the best-supported clubs in Indonesia and finished third in the recently completed President's Cup.

The start date for the new league season in Indonesia has yet to be announced. - REUTERS

indonesiaCHELSEA (EPL)