(IN THE PHOTO: Michael Essien during the interview with Milan Channel)
MILAN – Michael Essien took time out from training to speak to Milan Channel, Sky and Repubblica.
About himself: "I feel good, everything is ok. I am very happy, as I have been since I arrived here at Milan. I have always been available to play, I feel ready to play, so when the coach decides he needs me I am here. Otherwise, I’ll happily go along with what the coach decides. Last season was peculiar, but now everything has changed. We are doing well. I have had a lot of coaches in my career, and Inzaghi reminds me a lot of Carlo Ancelotti. I like Inzaghi as a coach and a person – he allows us to play our game on the pitch and give our best for the team.”    
On Milan in general: "Our aim, our true objective, is to finish in the top three in Serie A. That is where Milan belong and we need to fight all the way to get there. Every dressing room every season has different characteristics, and this year they are very good indeed. The true surprise has been Menez. I already knew him and from what I have seen here at Milan he can give even more."
On Sunday evening’s rumours: "It seemed harmless enough, at least at the beginning. I was relaxing at home, watching television, when the phone rang. It was Dr. Tavana. I answered and he asked me if I had caught ebola. Of course not, I replied. He told me about the rumours that were circulating, so I made some more phone calls and we laughed about it but reflecting on the siutation, there is little to laugh about. It is a deadly virus. Anyway, I don’t have ebola, but even my mother phoned me on Monday from Ghana because she was worried. I had to calm her down. In Ghana there hasn’t been an outbreak of ebola. For the African Cup of Nations, CAF will take the best decision. With all the people on the move in a competition like that, it could be risky if all the precautionary measures have not been taken. However, CAF will make the right decision.”  
On Balotelli and Africa: "Balotelli is a great player, we got on well together. I knew him from his time at Manchester City. He has all the quality to make it at the top, but he must work more. I feel African even if I arrived in Europe when I was very young. I feel I am an African with a European outlook, which is more open. Technology in football could work if it helps the referee clarify if the ball has crossed the line or not for a goal.”
His former coaches: "I am often in touch with Mourinho. We send each other text messages about football. We are still very close. I am also still in touch with Clarence Seedorf. He wrote to me before the start of the season. This is part of football: one coach follows another.”