Essien realistic over Ghana hopes
The Milan midfielder will be among the more experienced members of James Kwesi Appiah's party as Ghana look for a showing as impressive as 2010.
Ghana made the quarter-finals in South Africa before losing to Uruguay on penalties, and Essien has not ruled out a similar venture into the latter stages of the competition this time around.
However, even with the likes of Asamoah Gyan, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Kwadwo Asamoah in the squad, the former Chelsea man feels they must be realistic when talking of progression from a group that features Germany, Portugal and the United States.
"Our initial aim will be to get out of the group into the second round, and then take it from there game by game," Essien told FIFA.com.
"We are certainly capable of going one better and making it to the semi-finals or even finals. Anything can happen, but we are realistic enough to know we cannot aim that high from the start.
"Get the first objective of making the second round out of the way, and we will see how far we can go.
"It will be a journey without doubt, one we are looking forward to."
The aforementioned trio coupled with the likes of Essien and defender Jonathan Mensah offer a glimpse of the quality that Ghana possess.
With Ghana hoping to become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup, Essien feels their strength in depth is a major advantage.
"The squad for this tournament is the best Ghana has to offer, and the quality in depth is extremely good, especially in midfield," he continued.
"We have multiple options in most positions which is always a plus for any side."