Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has paid tribute to his mother Aba Gyandoh for the crucial role she played in his early football career
"When I was selected for the national Under 17 side, I was in school at the time and my mum said it's going to be a difficult one, do you really want to go?," Essien said in an interview with FIFA TV.
"I think my answer was no. My mum sat me down and said, my son, you should go".
Essien represented his country at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, before featuring at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship.
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He has been appointed an ambassador for the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup
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