The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan player said that the Black Stars’ long wait for a fifth AFCON title (their fourth arrived way back in 1982) puts pressure on the current team.
Ghana have come close to breaking the drought in recent years, losing to Egypt and Ivory Coast in the finals of the 2010 and 2015 editions of the Nations Cup respectively.
The current Black Stars team has struggled for form in recent times, notably picking up just one point from their first two Group E matches in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
“They have done really well. The pressure is still on, the nation wants them to win the AFCON because it’s been a long time and the expectations are high,” Essien told the BBC.
The midfielder was a part of three Nations Cup squads for Ghana.