He also made Europe take notice with superb performances and five goals in Lyon's campaign to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.Essien's dreams of playing in England are nothing new.When he left Ghana for Europe aged 19, he wanted to join Manchester United but had to settle for a club in France.In 2000 he joined Bastia, not the most glamorous French club but a perfect springboard for an ambitious youngster.I laughed, told him I was already in bed and put the phone down. Within weeks I flew up North (he was on loan to Newcastle United at the time) to stay with him. Ben and I now live in a three-bedroom cottage and though I may not have the limitless credit card any more, I appreciate things now. One weekend Lee went away to Dubai with his team-mates for a golfing trip.He played 13 games in his first season there and soon became the side's most vital player, helping them reach the French Cup final in 2002.I HAD MONEY BUT WAS SO MISERABLE Kathleen Baker, 24, had the Merc and the Louboutin heels but deep down she’d never felt lonelier Three years ago I met Lee Bowyer, the West Ham midfielder, at London club Chinawhite. The next day I opened the papers to see pictures of him cosying up to a girl.
After establishing himself as the finest player in Ligue 1, Michael Essien has opted for a new challenge by joining English champions Chelsea.Paul Le Guen, then the Lyon coach, certainly did not complain and immediately made him one of his main trump cards.The midfield combination of Essien, Brazil's Juninho and Mali's Mahamadou Diarra maintained Lyon firmly at the top of Ligue 1 and Essien won two French titles in a row before deciding to graze in pastures new."He's really explosive and can make a difference at any moment," Le Guen said of the muscular Essien."Physically, he's a phenomenon." His last season with Lyon won him the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award.People think WAGs have this dream life but I know the reality. Yes, I miss my diamonds but I’d never go back, not for all the designer dresses in the world.