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WATCH: Essien picks his favourite players at the Fifa World Cup

6:40 pm AEDT 16/12/22
Essien - Chelsea vs Arsenal 2006-07
Ghana legend Michael Essien has picked his best players from the tournament and declared himself still fit enough to play!
  • Essien picks Varane as the best centre-back
  • No doubts that Messi as the most skillful player
  • Picks Martinez as the best goalkeeper in Qatar

WHAT HAPPENED? In the video posted by Fifa on their social media pages, the former Chelsea midfielder is asked to name his best players so far in the tournament.

The 40-year-old Essien, who was capped more than 50 times for Ghana's Black Stars, did not hesitate when asked about the most skillful player, picking Argentina star Lionel Messi straight away.

WHAT DID HE SAY? When asked to name his best goalkeeper, Essien said: "I think I will go with Emiliano Martinez, the Argentine goalkeeper, and on the best centre-back, "That is a difficult question, he responded, before saying, "Maybe Raphael [Varane]."

He was then asked to name the best full-back, and Essien responded: "I think Kyle Walker' and the best midfielder, the Ghana legend said: "Jude Bellingham." On the most skillful player, Essien said: "Of course, Lionel [Messi]."

WHAT IS MORE? Essien was asked the funniest player during his playing time and he picked Claude Makelele. On retired players, who could still be professionals, Essien joked: "The guys I have seen I think I am the only one who can continue to play."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite Africa having five teams - Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal - in the Gulf nation, Essien did not mention any player from the continent.

Morocco proved the best team for the continent after becoming the first to reach the semi-finals where they lost 2-0 against France.

WHAT NEXT FOR AFRICA? The Atlas Lions will hope to sign off with a bronze medal when they take on Croatia in the third-place playoff fixture at Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday.