Head coach of Bali United, Stefano Cugurra Teco has stated that Michael Essien’s move to the play in Indonesia in 2017 has made the league popular and opened the doors for other top players to join the league.
Michael Essien after ending his stint with Greek side Panathinaikos in 2017 joined Indonesian side Persib Bandung for free on a one-year deal.
Essien became the latest high profile signing to join the league after Cameroon World Cup hero Roger Milla and Argentine World Cup winner Mario Kempes, the dou played in the league in the 1990s.
According to Coach Stefano Cugurra Teco, it was Michael Essien’s move in 2017 that made the Indonesia league more famous in Europe.
“Yes, certainly in 2017 when there will be a marquee player like Michael Essien, the Indonesian League will become more famous in Europe,” Teco said, quoted by the Bali Tribune.
“Other European players are starting to come to Indonesia,” Teco said.
After Michael Essien’s departure, several other players joined the league from Europe, Nigeria’s Peter Odemwingie, former Newcastle United player, Danny Guthrie and the latest is former Juventus man, Marco Motta.
Coach Stefano explained that the performance of the players coming to the league from Europe is what will determine whether more players from Europe will join in the future.
“I think it depends on the achievements of European players in League 1 now. If the performance decreases, maybe the team will not use it anymore and will see players from other countries.
“But, if the performance remains good, surely other European players will come to Indonesia”, the Bali United coach said.
Michael Essien left the Indonesian league in 2018. He’s currently playing for Azerbaijan side Sabail.