Fitzgerald Cecilio

Madrid, Spain

Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien feels like the play in the Spanish League is far better than the rough-housing nature of the English Premier League.

Essien said the Spanish League tends to focus more on passing while the English Premier League provided more physicality in the pitch.

"The English competition is very physical," Essien said. "From what I have seen so far in La Liga, teams want to play in a way that is based more on ball movement. This makes it more fun to play. In England some teams do not focus on playing, but more on the physical contact. That is where I see the big difference."

Essien, who has appeared in 23 Spanish League games on loan with Real Madrid from Chelsea, will try to help his new team win against Manchester United in the first leg of the round-of-16 match against EPL powerhouse Manchester United.

"To win the Champions League would be a fantastic achievement for me and for the club," he said. "As a player you dream about winning it. We will give our all and see if we can achieve that," said Essien.