Asamoah Gyan – the end of an era in Ghana football

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When Asamoah Gyan left Legon Cities Football Club after a brief spell with the Accra-based side in the 2020-21 season, it was only a matter of when and not if the legendary Ghanaian hitman would soon bow out officially.

Ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Ghanaian record goal scorer was seen in the gym with reports stating that he was intending to push for a place in the squad. He told the BBC World Service in 2022 ahead of the tournament that he was ready to go again.

“Talent-wise, everything is there already, so I just have to prepare physically. The World Cup is every footballer’s dream. I think I’ve got a bit of energy left in me to prove myself once again,” he said as quoted by the Graphic.

At the time he had not played club football since April 2021 which was over a year but he said he can do it if his body responds well to his schedule. “I’ve been out for almost two years now due to injuries but I just need to get my body back in shape. It’s an eight-week programme and according to my physical instructor, I’m improving faster than he thought,” he revealed, adding “Then I must see how my body reacts to playing competitive football”.

The former Ghana skipper ultimately did not make the trip to Qatar and that was his last attempt to get into the team he has long cemented his status as the most prolific striker having netted 51 goals in 107 appearances.

The Beginning of Asamoah Gyan

Gyan began his career in 2003 with former Ghanaian Premier League club Liberty Professionals. He scored ten goals in sixteen matches. That was enough to earn him a move to Serie A with Udinese where he returned 11 goals in 39 appearances. His time with Udinese included a loan spell at Modena where he scored 15 goals in 53 appearances. Gyan then moved to Ligue 1 with Rennes in 2008 after five seasons in Italy. His time in France was also glittering and returned 14 goals in 48 league appearances in two seasons before a switch to England with Sunderland where he 10 goals in his only season in England having made 34 league appearances.

After a season on loan at Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates after his lone season in England, the striker made the loan move permanent having stamped his authority in the league with 22 goals in just 18 appearances. The following three seasons saw him add 73 goals in 65 appearances. He then switched continents and joined the Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG where he netted seven goals in 20 appearances. He, however, left on loan to Al Ahli Dubai where he netted six goals in fourteen appearances before bringing the curtains down there and making a return to Europe.

In his second spell in Europe where he joined Kayserispor, Gyan was not lethal in front of goal as before but managed to return five goals in two seasons which saw him make 26 appearances. He again left Europe and headed this time to India, signing for NorthEast United. After a season in India where he made eight appearances and scored four goals, Gyan returned to Ghana and signed for Legon Cities after a rumoured move to Asante Kotoko failed. As if to signal the end of his era, the Ghana striker could not kick off well while back in Accra having been struggling with fitness for the majority of his time there. He ended his spell there with just five appearances and no goals scored.

Starring for the Black Stars

Asamoah made his bow for Ghana while still a teenager. He debuted for Ghana at the age of 17 years and turned 18 just three days after. To mark the beginning of his celebrated career, the young star scored on his debut after replacing two-goal hero Nana Arhin Duah with just 13 minutes to play in the 2006 World Cup Qualifier against Somalia. He scored in the 90th minute of that match and became the youngest-ever player to score for Ghana.

He went on to play at the 2006 World Cup when Ghana made her debut in the competition and reached the last 16. He was again present when Ghana held Africa’s hopes in South Africa but his good deeds were undone by a last-minute penalty miss against Uruguay which if scored would have seen Ghana become the first African side to reach the last four of the tournament. Gyan pulled himself up and scored Ghana’s first kick in the ensuing shootout as Ghana missed out on history.

He was again present in 2014 but Ghana had a performance to forget in that tournament and failed to qualify in the subsequent tournament in 2018. Gyan also has been present for Ghana at seven African Cup of Nations tournaments having made his initial appearance when the country hosted the 2008 edition and placed third.

On an individual level, Ghana has won the BBC African Footballer of the Year and also got nominated twice for the African Footballer of the Year. He top-scored three times in the UAE Pro League between 2011 and 2014 while also topping the scoring charts in 2012 in the AFC Champions League.

On Tuesday, the legendary Ghanaian striker announced his exit from football in a message to the public. He pledged to continue to be around and support unearthing talents as he has already started with the BabyJet U-16 African Tournament.

…OFFICIALLY, As I END my speech, Mr. President, Ministers of State, members of the board, fellow Speakers, nananom, niim3, naam3, I want to take this great opportunity, a stage that is difficult in every footballer’s career, a moment all footballers do not wish, but when nature dawns, that thin voice will keep echoing into the ears… IT IS TIME… that voice has been clear in my ears, and I have succumbed to it, IT IS TIME. IT IS TIME TO HANG THE JERSEY AND BOOTS IN GLORY as I retire officially from active football,…but then again, I am minded by views shared by great businesses men and sporting gurus, “YOU DO NOT LEAVE YOUR LOVE’… together with my management, we will continue encouraging and push young talents as we did recently with BABYJET U16 AFRICAN TOURNAMENT where 1,200 young players across West Africa exhibited their talents on live TV.

Again, I will put my experience and knowledge to use in the field of coaching, football business and scouting. I want to thank my be- loved country GHANA, my family, my colleagues from school, those from colts and Blackstar from 2002 to date, clubmates, coaches and everybody who has played a role in my career as a footballer. I say Thank you…. May God bless us all.

Asamoah Gyan announces his retirement from football

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