CHELSEA icon Michael Essien has revealed what made Jose Mourinho such a key figure in his career.
The Ghanaian signed for the Blues in 2005 during the Portuguese's first reign, also going on to play for him at Real Madrid later in his career.
A decorated midfielder, Essien gathered a reputation as one of the finest in the game – also playing under the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Andre Villas-Boas.
But Mourinho had the most influence, as he explained to The Football Ramble.
Now a coach himself with FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark, Essien, 38, explained: "I have played under so many coaches and every one is different. I would take Mourinho as an example – I was very much connected with him.
"He's a winner, he gives you tactical details and makes sure it's very clear so when you're on the pitch you know what to do.
"It's one of the things I am going to carry with me and hopefully I can transmit to the boys if one day I become a manager."
He then added: "I didn't think I would make the transition. When I was playing I always said 'no I don't want to be a coach' but when you love the game so much you always try to be in the game.
"So two or three years ago I said I am coming toward the end of my career and I want to learn about the coaching side of the game and it will give me the opportunity to be on the pitch and to be around the players.
"Actually when I started doing it, it was something I wanted to do. The whole project here is very good for my transition into the coaching side of the game."
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Essien's current employers are owned by Right to Dream, a group founded by respected ex-Manchester United scout Tom Vernon.
Using the beautiful game as a platform for social change, education and inclusion all around the world, FC Nordsjaelland have opened academies in Essien's native Ghana, with another planned to launch in Egypt.
Former Arsenal centre-back Johan Djourou is a senior pro at the Danish club now at the age of 34.
And the Ivorian, also appearing on the Ramble, gushed about his latest club's project.
He said: "The beauty of what we are doing here is to bring two different cultures together – the African culture and the European culture mixing together.
"The guys adapt to each other and to create that magic to be able to live together."
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