On the last day of the transfer market for the 2012/13 season, Real Madrid secured the signing of Michael Essien. The midfielder arrived in the Spanish capital provided by Chelsea at the express request of José Mourinho.
This was, moreover, a crazy day according to the Ghanaian. «I was with Chelsea in Monaco for the European Super Cup game against Atlético de Madrid and I received a call from an unknown number. My cousin, who was with me in the room that day, told me to pay attention. The number kept calling. As soon as I answered I heard a 'hello' from the other side, I realized who I was talking to: José Mourinho. We started talking and he told me that he had heard that I was going to Arsenal, I replied that it was not right. He said: 'Come with me to Real Madrid' », he began by telling, in conversation with journalist Carol Tshabalala.
Between Mourinho's call and the transfer's conclusion, Essien reported everything that happened.
«My agent called me a few hours later and I told him what had happened and that I had given Mourinho his number. I said to be calm that I was going to Madrid because Lass Diarra had gone to Russia [Anzhi]. We had to change plans because I was about to leave the hotel to go to the stadium. Real Madrid was negotiating with my agent and me on the bus. I was on my way when I got a call from my agent asking where I was. He sent me back to the hotel because I was going to send a fax. I had to shout at the driver to stop the bus. My colleagues asked: 'Michael, what's wrong?' », He said.
The current Sebail PFK player ended up being present at the Louis II stadium alongside his teammates and only left for Madrid the next day.
«After the ceremony, we returned to the dressing room where I said goodbye correctly. I just took the shin guards and the boots. I said goodbye to everyone, including Abramovich, who wished me good luck. I returned to the hotel and the next day I was flying to Madrid. I went there with only boots, shin guards, some pants, t-shirt and tracksuit from Chelsea. When I arrived at the airport, Mourinho was waiting for me. I did medical exams and the next day I started training », he said.
After 35 games and two goals, Essien returned to Chelsea, the club he represented for another six months before leaving for AC Milan.