Michael Essien admits his career has been closely linked to Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.

The Chelsea midfielder joined Real on-loan on transfer deadline day in August.

"It is no secret that José Mourinho has been a big influence on my career since he took me to England," said Essien.

"He was kind enough to accompany me on a fundraising trip to Ghana when we were in Chelsea. So when he showed an interest in signing me for Real Madrid, I had no doubts about it at all. Of course I had to come to an agreement with Chelsea first, but once they agreed, everything started to move.

"One minute I was getting ready to play the Supercup in Monaco; the next I was packing my bags to move to Madrid. It was crazy, but that is what football is like. It looked like I was going to spend another season in Chelsea after a good preseason, but here I am, in Madrid. I never dreamt this would happen when I went back to work with Chelsea in July, but football is full of surprises and this is definitely one of them."