(IN THE PHOTO: Michael Essien and Adriano Galliani at the press conference)
MILAN – The press conference for Michael Essien at Milanello started at 13.00 on Tuesday and began with the following words from CEO Adriano Galliano:"Thanks for being here for the presentation of Michael Essien, the latest reinforcement in January. He is an important player who has played for some important teams such as Lyon, Chelsea, Real Madrid who need no introductions and now Milan. He is 31 years of age so has plenty of time for his great career to continue with us." Michael Essien's first words were as follows: "I want to say thank-you, I’m happy to have joined the Milan family. I have my best friend Sulley Muntari here and I’ve known him a long time. There is also Ricardo Kakà who I played with at Real Madrid last year. I’m looking forward to starting to play with the group and I can’t wait to give everything to the group."Adriano Galliani then spoke about the decision to bring Essien to the club: "I spoke with Carlo Ancelotti about Essien who spoke really well about him and this was one of the reasons why we chose to bring him to the club. Clarence Seedorf was also eager to sign Essien."Essien was happy to be joining Milan: "I told friends that before retiring that I wanted to play for this club and achieve my dream. It was easy to make a decision after speaking to Clarence. I had a lot of offers but Clarence made it an easy choice for me. I’ve known Seedorf a long time, I asked him to a charity match in Ghana many times. Jose Mourinho said it would be a great experience and I would settle well in Italy."Galliani then explained in further detail about why they chose to bring Essien to the club and about other transfer negotiations: "This decision came about because of the suspensions to Riccardo Montolivo and Sulley Muntari in the Champions League matches. This led us to bring in another midfielder who could play in the Champions League. Other arrivals? I can’t bring in any other players before trimming down the squad first. Constant-Armero loan swap deal? If Milan and Napoli are able to find an agreement we will go ahead with the deal, but Constant doesn’t want to at the moment. It would also be problematic because Armero wouldn’t be available for the Champions League.”Galliani continued to speak about other possible arrivals: "Coentrao? I have made a request but he is not for sale. I have never asked about Paletta and the same goes for Vidic. Biabiany? That’s a new one to me. There was the possibility of a swap deal with Cagliari for Agazzi, but Amelia then changed his mind. There may be further arrivals, this afternoon I will be busy. Something will happen.”Essien had the following to say about the club: "Milan always play to win trophies so I know I’m coming to a big club. I’ve chosen the number 15 shirt. I’m fit and ready to play. I just need to work hard to put myself up for selection for the coach. I’m looking forward to playing with all of the players. I’m excited to play in the Champions League here as I was not registered with Chelsea. I played a couple of times against Atletico Madrid but with the players we have here, we can win the game against them."The Ghana midfielder continued: “I’ve been really lucky to play for clubs in big cities. I’ve come here because I’ve always had a big passion for Milan. I often watched Italian football matches. I know the atmosphere here at the stadium in Italy is different, but it doesn’t worry me. I only want to win and to play. If the stadium is empty it isn’t a worry for me.”Galliani also had the following to say about the Primavera coach Filippo Inzaghi who has been linked with Sassuolo: "He will not be Sassuolo’s coach. He accepted the decision to bring Seedorf to the club. We can’t let him go, despite our good relationship with Sassuolo. He’s a Milan legend and he can’t leave. It’s true that there was the possibility, but I stopped it immediately.”Essien’s final words were focused on getting selected for the Ghana national team for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil: “The coach will decide when I play. If it’s good for the team, it’s good for me. In this way I hope to go to the World Cup in Brazil. I would like to play in the World Cup with my national team. It’s going to be hard, but in football anything can happen. We’ll see what happens.”