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The Sad Story Of How Only Two Real Madrid Players Turned Up To Michael Essien's 30th Birthday Party

Josh Lawless

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The Sad Story Of How Only Two Real Madrid Players Turned Up To Michael Essien's 30th Birthday Party

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Twitter

A winning team typically needs to have a close-knit bond but that didn't appear to be present during Jose Mourinho's stint at Real Madrid.

Back in 2012, Michael Essien linked up with Mourinho for a second time when he joined Los Blancos on loan from Chelsea.

During his spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Ghanaian international hit a big milestone when he celebrated his 30th birthday.

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Essien invited all of his Real Madrid teammates to attend a party he was hosting. Out of the whole squad only two players attended.

Ricardo Carvalho and Luka Modric posed for a picture with poor Essien, who just looked happy that somebody had turned up.

Given his bond with Essien, Mourinho was fuming about the no-shows and had to console the midfielder.

In the book 'Jose Mourinho: Up Close and Personal', Rob Beasley writes: "Mourinho said that Madrid was a political club with warring factions and told me a story about Essien inviting teammates to his 30th birthday but only a few turned up.

"He had to console Essien, saying it was nothing personal and that it didn't mean the players didn't like him but they simply were only concerned with themselves and had better things to do."

Real Madrid finished the 2012/13 season empty-handed, finishing second in La Liga, reaching Champions League semi-finals as well as being runners up to rivals Atletico in the Copa Del Rey.

Bizarrely, there is a song out called 'Michael Essien Birthday Party' that was released in 2020 by Zeppy Zep, Keeko and Taco Hemingway - though we're not quite sure Essien himself will have listened to it.

Back in 2018, Mourinho opened up on his special relationship with Essien.

"He was not my player, he is my son – I am his white daddy," Mourinho somewhat bizarrely told Malaysian television station Astro Arena.

"He was probably the only one who took me to his home, to the real home. To the place he was born, to the street where he played football as a kid.

"He made me fall in love with Ghana, with Accra where he lived, because then I had a better understanding of his mentality.

Mourinho had a close relationship with Essien at Chelsea and Real Madrid (Image: Alamy)
Mourinho had a close relationship with Essien at Chelsea and Real Madrid (Image: Alamy)

"I understand why as a player he was ready for everything, he was ready to die for the fellow players, for the club, for the manager, why he was ready to play like he did for me at Real Madrid with a knee that was not a knee anymore.

"It was a destroyed knee but with that personality, that desire and that mentality he suffered, always he suffered, but always with a smile. Michael smiles a lot."

After watching the footage of Mourinho praising him, Essien said: "That's kind of emotional. It is very nice, we have a very good relationship.

"For him to say that about me is very special."

Topics: Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho, Chelsea, Football, La Liga

Josh Lawless
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