Michael Essien's stunning goal against Barcelona in 2009 revisited

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Michael Essien has never been a prolific goal scorer by any means.

38 league goals spanning a career over 15 years, represents a modest total for a largely defensive-focused midfielder but of those 38 strikes, there have been some absolute screamers.

The 33-year-old is approaching the end of his career and latest reports have linked the former Chelsea, Milan and Real Madrid star with a move to Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad.

But before Essien joins fellow Ghanian Sulley Muntari in the outer reaches of the footballing world, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to reflect on one of his greatest moments and one of the best strikes you will see in a very long time.

His thunderbolt against Arsenal in 2006 was pretty spectacular and one that most players would have been proud to score but Essien can boast finding the back of the net with an even better finish.

Nine minutes into a Champions League semi-final against one of the best teams in the world - the stakes couldn't have been much higher.

With scores tied at 0-0 after the first leg, everything was still to play for as Chelsea tried to reach a second consecutive European final.

Pep Guardiola's Barcelona side stood in their way but Essien approached the game just like the rest of his career, with no fear.

Frank Lampard's deflected strike spun upwards and dropped very unkindly towards the ex-Lyon man.

While his strike against Arsenal was hit with his right foot after Lampard had laid the ball on a tee, Essien didn't have time to hit this one on his preferred side and just acted instinctively.

A thunderous left-footed volley surprised just about everyone watching. Victor Valdes, at the prime of his career, was helpless as the ball curled towards the top left corner and cannoned in off the bar.

Not for the first or last time in his career, Andres Iniesta spoiled the show with a late equaliser to send the Catalans through to the final but that game will forever be remembered for Essien's wondergoal.

Essien may not quite have the same energy he once had but Saudi Arabia defences should not give the Chelsea hero any time outside the box to avoid another becoming the victims of another Ghanian rocket.

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Michael Essien
John Terry
Premier League

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