JAKARTA, March 14 (Reuters) - Former Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder Michael Essien has joined Indonesia’s Persib Bandung, the club announced on social media on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old Ghanaian is the highest profile signing for Indonesian soccer since Cameroon World Cup hero Roger Milla and Argentine World Cup winner Mario Kempes played in the country in the 1990s.
Essien, who has been a free agent since leaving Greek club Panathinaikos at the end of last season, won the Champions League, two Premier League titles and four FA Cups during nine seasons at Chelsea.
He also played at two World Cups for Ghana, who he represented 58 times, before retiring in the wake of the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
Persib posted photographs of a shirt bearing the number five, the number he made his own at Chelsea, with Essien’s name across the back before publishing further pictures of the player posing with club officials.
Based in Bandung in West Java, Persib are one of the best supported clubs in Indonesia and finished third in the recently completed President’s Cup.
The start date for the new league season in Indonesia has yet to be announced. (Reporting by Michael Church in Sydney, Editing by Nick Mulvenney)