Former Chelsea star and Ghana international Michael Essien is the one pro footballer who has never suffered defeat while playing against Barcelona great Lionel Messi.
Messi has been in the headlines since requesting a transfer from La Blaugrana but recent reports claim the player has made a dramatic U-turn amid his father’s ongoing discussions with the Spanish club and it’s quite possible that he could stay put.
The bookmakers are now offering odds of 2/7 on the Argentinian staying with Barcelona and Manchester City, who were favorites to sign the attacker in the wake of the news of his intent to leave the Camp Nou, are 5/2 to get him on their books.
While the player’s future is still up in the air, Essien can boast being the single opponent who has never lost to Messi on the pitch. The ex-Blues midfielder faced Messi on eight occasions during his career, playing 551 minutes, and never experienced a single loss. Of the eight games, Essien’s teams won five and drew three. The player spent a season with Barcelona’s rivals Real Madrid and, given Chelsea’s storied clashes with Barca in the Champions League, he would have had his fair share of playing against the diminutive goal machine whilst in blue.
The Ghanaian played against Messi for Chelsea on six occasions; the Blues won four of those ties and drew a pair. He went up against Messi twice with Real, winning one of their El Clasico clashes and drawing the other.
Bayern Munich stopper Manuel Neuer has the next best record against Messi, who’s only beaten the German once. Most recently, Bayern thrashed Barca 8-2 in Champions League action before going on to win the trophy
Former Brazil defender Lucio is next, beating Messi three times, drawing three times and losing once.
Meanwhile, Essien is considering hanging up his boots as he’s without a club at the moment.
The midfielder’s former paymasters have shown serious intent ahead of the 2020/21 Premier League season and have been very active in the transfer window. The Blues have already brought in the likes of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr. They’re thought to be on the verge of sealing a deal for Bayer Leverkusen superstar Kai Havertz and they aren’t expected to stop there.
Frank Lampard’s side will begin their Premier League campaign against Brighton & Hove Albion on September 14 and are 13/20 to beat the 4/1 Seagulls while a draw is at 14/5. New bettors looking to make some cash on their favorite teams could take advantage of a number of free bets and other offers from the biggest bookies in the UK. There is every chance they can turn the free bet into real money if offered one.
Chelsea are 12/1 to lift the Premier League trophy at the end of the upcoming season but City are the favourites at 8/11 while Liverpool follow at 9/4. Manchester United are 16/1 in that regard.
The Blues will also have their sights on the Champions League after securing top-tier European football for next season and are 20 /1 to snag bragging rights. Man City are also favourites on that front at 4/1 while current holders Bayern are 9/2.
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