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VISION
To become the hub of supplying talented footballers, who in addition to their God’s given talents, will also, replicate and exhibit standards set by football legends to feed the global football market.

We achieve these by:
• Searching for talented footballers in Ghana and Africa
• We provide opportunities for the talents to add value to their existing talents.
• Provide studies that enhance both physical and mental aspects of the players
• We provide the talents with facilities such as internet, series of professional football matches on DSTV and the local channels.
• We also engage football mentors, highly profiled players both local and international to practically demonstrate their unique skills for the talents to emulate. 

MISION STATEMENT

To train and instil discipline in our players to compete both in the local and international football markets

Nurturing the players to benchmark best practices of talented football legends in addition to their God’s given talents.

To increase the net worth of the shareholders 

TEAM TRAINING SESSION

GHANAIAN INTERNATIONALS

PROFILE OF SOCCER ICONS

George Oppong Weah

George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah (born 1 October 1966) is a Liberian humanitarian, politician, and an ex-footballer who played as a striker. Regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, in 1995 he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or. Three times he won African Footballer of the Year. In 2004 he was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.

Weah spent fourteen years of his professional football career playing for clubs in France, Italy, and England. Arsène Wenger brought him to Europe when he signed for Monaco in 1988. Weah moved to Paris Saint Germain in 1992 where he won Ligue 1 in 1994 and became the top scorer of the UEFA Champions League 1994–95. He signed for A.C. Milan in 1995 where he spent four very successful seasons, scoring some spectacular goals (the most notable running the length of the field against Verona), and won Serie A twice. He then moved to the English Premier League and had spells at Chelsea and Manchester City.

An idol in Africa, Weah has been heavily involved in politics in his homeland Liberia. He ran unsuccessfully for president in the 2005 election, losing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting. In the 2011 election, he ran for vice president on Winston Tubman's ticket

Football career

After playing in the Liberian domestic League at the beginning of his successful career, and winning several national honours (including the Liberian Premier League and the Liberian Cup), Weah moved to Europe in 1988, when he was signed by Arsène Wenger, who was the manager of Monaco at the time, whom Weah credits as an important influence on his career. At Monaco, Weah was a member of the team that won the French Cup in 1991, and he helped his club to reach the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1992, scoring 4 goals in 9 cup appearances. Weah subsequently played for Paris Saint Germain (1992–95), with whom he won the Coupe de France in 1993 and 1995, the French league in 1994, the Coupe de la Ligue in 1995 during a highly prolific and successful period; he also became the top scorer of the UEFA Champions League 1994–95, with 7 goals, after reaching the semi-finals with the club, one of which was a skilful wonder goal against Bayern Munich in the group stage, on the 23rd November 1994. He also managed to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup during the 1992-93 season, and the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup during the 1993-94 season; in total, he scored 16 goals in 25 European games.

Weah moved to AC Milan in 1995 with whom he won the Italian league in 1996 and 1999, also reaching the 1998 Coppa Italia final, and finishing as runners-up in the Supercoppa Italiana on two occasions, in 1996 and 1999. Despite their European dominance in the early 90s, Milan were less successful in Europe during this time however, with their best result being a quarter-final finish in the 1995-96 UEFA Cup. In 1995 Weah won the Ballon d'Or, the Onze d'Or, and was named FIFA World Player of the Year, becoming the first native African player to ever win these awards. In addition to his skill and goalscoring prowess, Weah also became famous at Milan for scoring a solo goal against Verona at the San Siro which saw him take the ball just outside his own penalty area, and slalom his way past seven opposing players, before scoring. In 1996, Weah finished second in the FIFA World Player of the Year ranking. After leaving Milan in January 2000 Weah moved to Chelsea, winning the F.A. Cup in 2000, later transferring to Manchester City, and Olympique Marseille in quick succession, before leaving Marseille in May 2001 for Al Jazira FC, in the United Arab Emirates, where he remained until his retirement as a player in 2003.

As successful as he was at club level, Weah was not able to bring over that success to the Liberian national team, scoring 13 goals in 60 games. He has done everything with the squad from playing to coaching to financing it, but failed to qualify for a single World Cup, falling just a point short in qualifying for the 2002 tournament. He was able to help his country qualify for two editions of the African Cup of Nations, in 1996 and 2002, but on both occasions, they were eliminated in the first round.

FIFA World Player of the Year 1995

Weah was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1995, becoming the first and, currently, only African player to win the award. He was the fifth recipient of the award.

African Player of the Year 1989, 1994 and 1995

Weah won the African Footballer of the Year in 1989 when he was with AS Monaco, 1994 when he was at Paris Saint Germain, and 1995 with AC Milan. That year he won almost every award a footballer could win. When he won the award in 1989, it was his first major award and he took it back home for the entire country to celebrate, similar to what he did when he won the world best title and the Onze Mondial title.

European Player of the Year 1995

Weah won the Ballon d'Or (European Player of the Year) in 1995, becoming the first and, currently, only African player to win the award. Sports writers from all over Europe voted and awarded Weah as the best player in Europe for the year. When he won the World player of the year he dedicated it to his manager Arsene Wenger who made him a world class player.

Onze Mondial 1995

  • The French Magazine name Weah as the top player in Europe for 1995, awarding him the Onze d'Or prize that year.
  • FIFA Fair Play Award 1996
  • African Player of the Year

African Player of the Century

Weah was voted the African Player of the Century by sport journalists from all around the world. Pelé won the same award as the South American Player of the Century and Johan Cruyff as the European Player of the Century.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, GOIH; born 5 February 1985), known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Portugal national team.

By the age of 22, Ronaldo had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year, in 2008, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this up by winning the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2013. He also won the 2013–14 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. In January 2014, Ronaldo scored his 400th senior career goal for club and country aged 28.

Ronaldo is regarded by some in the sport to be currently the best player in the world and one of the greatest of all time. He is the first Portuguese footballer to win two FIFA/Ballons d'Or, and the second player to win three European Golden Shoe awards. With Manchester United and Real Madrid, Ronaldo has won three Premier Leagues, one La Liga, one FA Cup, two Football League Cups, two Copas del Rey, one FA Community Shield, one Supercopas de España, two UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.

Ronaldo began his career as a youth player for Andorinha, where he played for two years, before moving to C.D. Nacional. In 1997, he made a move to Portuguese giants Sporting CP. In 2003 he caught the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who signed him for £12.2 million (€15 million). In 2004, he won his first trophy, the FA Cup. In 2007, Ronaldo was the first player in England to win all four main PFA and FWA awards. In 2008, he won 3 of the 4 main PFA and FWA trophies and was named the FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFPro Player of the Year, World Soccer Player of the Year, and the Onze d'Or.[13][14][15] In 2007 and 2008, Ronaldo was named FWA Footballer of the Year. He was the inaugural winner of the FIFA Puskás Award for Goal of the Year in 2009. He became the world's most expensive player when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth £80 million (€94 million/$132 million). His buyout clause is valued at €1 billion. In a 2014 UEFA poll, he was named the greatest goalscorer to play in the UEFA Champions League. Ronaldo holds the record for most goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League season, having scored 17 goals in the 2013–14 season. In May 2012, he become the first footballer to score against every team in a single season in La Liga. In December 2014, Ronaldo became the fastest player to score 200 goals in La Liga when, in his 178th La Liga game, he scored a hat-trick against Celta Vigo; his 23rd hat-trick was also a La Liga record.

Ronaldo made his international debut for Portugal in August 2003, at the age of 18. He has since been capped over 100 times and has participated in 6 major tournaments: three UEFA European Championships (2004, 2008 and 2012) and three FIFA World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014). Ronaldo is the first Portuguese player to reach 50 international goals, making him Portugal's top goalscorer of all time as well as the country's top scorer in the European Championship with 6 goals. He scored his first international goal in the opening game of Euro 2004 against Greece, and helped Portugal reach the final. He took over captaincy in July 2008, and he led Portugal to the semi-finals at Euro 2012, finishing the competition as joint-top scorer in the process. In November 2014, Ronaldo became the all-time top scorer in the UEFA European Championship (including qualifying) with 23 goals.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi Cuccittini ; born 24 June 1987), is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and captains the Argentina national team.

By the age of 21, Messi had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year, in 2009, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this up by winning the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010, and then again in 2011 and 2012. He also won the 2010–11 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. At the age of 24, Messi became Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all official club competitions. In September 2014 he scored his 400th senior career goal for club and country aged just 27. In November 2014, Messi became the all-time top scorer in La Liga, and the all-time leading goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League.

Often ranked as the best player in the world and rated by some in the sport as the greatest of all time, Messi is the first football player in history to win four FIFA/Ballons d'Or, all of which he won consecutively, and the first to win three European Golden Shoe awards. With Barcelona, Messi has won six La Ligas, two Copas del Rey, six Supercopas de España, three UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups.

Messi is the only player to top-score in four consecutive Champions League seasons, and also holds the record for the most hat-tricks scored in the competition with five. In March 2012 he made Champions League history by becoming the first player to score five goals in one match. He also matched José Altafini's record of 14 goals in a single Champions League season. In the 2011–12 season, Messi set the European record for most goals scored in a season with 73 goals, set the goalscoring record in a single La Liga season with 50 goals, and became the first player ever to score and assist in six different official competitions in one season. In February 2013 he scored his 300th Barcelona goal. On 30 March 2013, Messi scored in his 19th consecutive La Liga game, becoming the first footballer in history to net in consecutive matches against every team in a professional football league. He extended his record scoring streak to 21 consecutive league matches. In March 2014, with a hat-trick against Real Madrid, Messi became the player with the most goals and most hat-tricks in the history of El Clásico. In October 2014, Messi, aged 27, became the youngest player to score 250 goals in La Liga. In November 2014, Messi scored a hat-trick against Sevilla to reach 253 La Liga goals, becoming the all-time top scorer in La Liga. Later that month, he scored his 74th Champions League goal to become its all-time leading scorer.

Messi helped Argentina win the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup, finishing as both the best player and the top scorer (with six goals). In 2006, he became the youngest Argentine to play and score in the FIFA World Cup, and won a runners-up medal at the Copa América in 2007, in which he was named young player of the tournament. In 2008, he won an Olympic Gold Medal with the Argentina Olympic football team. At the 2014 World Cup, he led Argentina to the final, winning four consecutive Man of the Match awards in the process, and received the Golden Ball award as the best player of the tournament. In 2013, SportsPro rated him the second-most marketable athlete in the world. His playing style and stature have drawn comparisons to compatriot Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi his "successor".

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Micheal Essien

Michael Kojo Essien (born 3 December 1982) is a Ghanaian footballer who plays for Milan and the Ghana national team. He is a midfielder who has often been touted as a box-to-box midfielder for his ability to exert energy in supporting offensive and defensive play and for his tough tackling style which has earned him the nickname "The Bison".Essien can also play as a defender, both

on the right of defence and in the centre.

Essien started his career playing for Liberty Professionals in his home country. In 2000, he moved to France joining Bastia. Essien spent three seasons at the club appearing in over 60 matches before joining league champions Olympique Lyonnais in 2003. At Lyon, Essien won back-to-back league titles in 2003–04 and 2004–05 and also played in the UEFA Champions League for the first time. During his five-year stint in France, he acquired French citizenship. In 2005, Essien signed with Chelsea for a fee of £24.4 million and, at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history.At Chelsea, Essien helped the club win the Premier League in 2006 and 2010, as well as three FA Cups and one Football League Cup. In 2008, he appeared in the UEFA Champions League Final. He has won the Chelsea Goal of the season award twice, in the 2006–07 and 2008–09 seasons.

Essien is a Ghanaian international. At youth level, he represented his country at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship and 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with the latter team finishing as runner-up. Essien made his senior team debut in January 2002 and has represented his nation at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where Ghana reached the Round of 16. He is often referred to as the Bison for his tough tackling style, boundless energy and physical presence on the pitch

In July 2000, Essien was signed by Division 1 club Bastia and made his debut for the club on 30 September 2000 in a league match against Metz appearing as a substitute for captain Laurent Casanova. Essien did not immediately command a consistent place in the team, being deployed in various positions in the back four. He ultimately finished the 2000–01 campaign with only 13 league appearances and one goal, which came in the return leg against Metz in a 3–2 defeat. The following season, Essien was given an opportunity by manager Robert Nouzaret to play in central midfield and flourished in this new role. Essien formed midfield partnerships with Nicolas Dieuze and Cyril Jeunechamp and scored vital goals in victories over Nantes, Lorient, and Guingamp. On 12 January 2002, Essien scored the equalising goal against Marseille at the Stade Vélodrome to even the match at 2–2. He also scored a goal in the Coupe de la Ligue against Le Mans. Future Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba converted a goal for Le Mans in the match.

In the 2002–03 season, Essien developed into an undisputed starter under new manager Gérard Gili. However, his tenacious and physical style of play also began to take form as he collected a staggering 12 yellow cards in league play. He opened the new campaign by scoring on his season debut against Lens in a 1–1 draw and converted five more league goals, which included one in a surprising 2–0 victory over the defending champions Lyon.[12][13] Following the campaign, in which Bastia finished mid-table for the third consecutive season, Essien drew interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon, and Marseille.

Olympique Lyonnais

Paris Saint-Germain made Bastia the best offer and it was accepted, but Essien rejected PSG's contract offer, and instead agreed terms with the two-time defending champions Lyon, who paid Bastia €7.8 million for the transfer. Upon his arrival, Essien was assigned the number 4 shirt and played as a box-to-box midfielder, which allowed him the freedom to protect and assist playmaker Juninho Pernambucano while defensive midfielders Edmilson and Mahamadou Diarra assisted the defence and directed the distribution. He made his club debut in the team's 2003 Trophée des champions match against Auxerre on 27 July 2003. In just the 5th minute of play, Essien scored his first goal for the club. Four minutes later, Diarra netted a goal. Lyon won the match 2–1 giving Essien his first club honour as a player. In just the third match of the campaign, Essien scored his first league goal for the club in a 3–1 victory over AS Monaco.[17] He featured regularly for the rest of the campaign making 33 more league appearances and scoring two more goals against Bordeaux and Rennes, respectively. On 23 May 2004, Lyon sealed their third consecutive league title by defeating Lille 3–0 at the Stade Gerland. Essien appeared as a substitute in the match. In the UEFA Champions League, Essien appeared in eight of the ten matches Lyon contested and the club was ultimately eliminated by Portuguese club and the eventual champions Porto.

In his final season at Lyon, Essien appeared in all but one league match as Lyon were crowned champions for the fourth straight season. The match he missed was as a result of a red card endured in the previous league match. Essien also scored three goals and collected 11 yellow cards, tied for second-worst in the league. His performances in the league resulted in him being voted the 2005 Player of the Year by France's National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP). Essien also helped Lyon to reach the quarter-finals of the 2004-05 UEFA Champions League where he put in dynamic performances and scored five goals in the tournament. Lyon were eventually eliminated from the tournament in a penalty shoot-out against PSV Eindhoven. At the end of the season he was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year. His honour started a record streak of UNFP Player of the Year awards for Lyon players, with the streak coming to an end in 2008 following Karim Benzema's victory. He was also nominated for the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year Award. He placed 22nd in 2005. His acclaim drew attention from Chelsea which he eventually signed for.

Chelsea

On 14 August 2005, Lyon and Chelsea agreed a £24.4 million fee for the Ghanaian, finally ending one of the longest-running transfer sagas. At the time, the fee made Essien Chelsea's most expensive signing of all time, beating the £24 million they paid for Didier Drogba the previous summer. The transfer went through on 19 August. The transfer came under scrutiny in the Stevens inquiry report, which expressed concerns because of the lack of co-operation from agents Pini Zahavi and Barry Silkman.

He made his debut as a second half substitute against Arsenal on 21 August 2005, wearing the number 5 on his shirt. The game ended with a 1–0 victory to Chelsea. He made an assist in his full debut against West Bromwich Albion, and he replaced the injured Claude Makélélé in the defensive midfield role against Sunderland in the 2–0 win on 10 September 2005. He soon cemented his place in José Mourinho's side, starting in 31 domestic league games, and 11 appearances in the other cup competitions.

On 15 December 2005, he was handed a two-match ban by UEFA for a controversial tackle on Dietmar Hamann, which resulted in his suspension from Chelsea's Champions League second round tie with eventual European champions Barcelona. Essien apologised to Hamann for the challenge – stating while he desires to be perceived as a player who "unsettles" opponents, he was not a malicious or an unsporting player; Hamann publicly accepted Essien's apology. In January 2006, Essien was himself stretchered off the field, after a challenge from West Ham United captain Nigel Reo-Coker, and was sidelined for three weeks.Essien scored his first goal for Chelsea from a low cross from Shaun Wright-Phillips on 11 March 2006, in a 2–1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.His second goal came on 17 April 2006, against Everton with a powerful strike after an assertive burst through the defensive line. Essien ended his maiden season in England with two goals, both in the Premier League.

Essien was nominated for the 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year Award on 12 October 2006 where he placed 22nd. One week later, he was nominated for the 2006 Ballon d'Or. He was voted as the third Best African Footballer of the Year in 2006, a feat he achieved in 2005 as well. He won the 2006 BBC African footballer of the year award.

The following season Essien scored several important goals including his first Champions League goal for Chelsea in a 2–0 victory over Werder Bremen of Germany on 12 September 2006. Later in the competition, Essien scored a late winner in the quarter-final second leg against Valencia at the Mestalla to send Chelsea through to the semi-finals with a 2–1 victory on the night, and 3–2 win on aggregate. It was his first match back in the team after several weeks out with a knee injury. Essien also scored a stunning late equaliser at home against Arsenal on 10 December 2006, as the game was going to end Chelsea's long unbeaten run.

On 15 May 2007, Chelsea fans voted Essien as Chelsea Player of the Year for his contributions in the 2006–07 season, becoming the first African to receive the honour. His late dramatic equalising goal against Arsenal was also voted as Chelsea Goal of the Season for 2006–07.

On 12 August 2007, Essien grabbed the winner with his first goal of the 2007–08 Premier League campaign, as Chelsea defeated Birmingham City, to set an English record for unbeaten league matches at home – eclipsing Liverpool's previous top-flight record of 63 set between 1978 and 1981.

On 10 October 2007, he was nominated for the prestigious 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Award for the third consecutive year and on 21 October 2007 Essien was also nominated for the 2007 Ballon d'Or Award for the third consecutive year as well. He was voted 15th Best Player in the World at the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Awards. On 12 December 2007, Essien was nominated for the 2007 African Footballer of the Year a third consecutive time he had been nominated. He was runner-up to that year's winner Frédéric Kanouté.

On 22 July 2008, Essien signed a new five-year deal with Chelsea, keeping him at the club until 2013.He also extended his contract on 12 March 2007

It was feared Essien would miss the 2008–09 Premier League season after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage on 5 September whilst playing for Ghana. However, on 7 March 2009, he came on as a substitute in the second half of the FA Cup game against Coventry City. In his second game back from the knee injury, Essien scored just before half time to give Chelsea a vital away goal against Juventus in the Champions League first knockout round. Chelsea went on the draw the match 2–2 and through to the quarter-finals 3–2 on aggregate. He made his first league start from injury against Manchester City, and scored the only goal in the match.

On 6 May 2009, Essien scored a stunning left-footed volley in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, a tie that Chelsea ultimately lost due to the away goal rule. The goal was later voted as Chelsea's goal of the season by the club's fans.

In the 2009–10 Premier League season Essien put in an excellent performance against Blackburn Rovers on 24 October 2009 and scored his first goal of the season with a swerving 35-yard shot on 52 minutes in a 5–0 victory at Stamford Bridge. He scored his first brace for Chelsea against Wolverhampton Wanderers with a header and a low shot from outside the box, and came close to completing his first hat-trick for the club with a flurry of second half shots, one of which was tipped onto the bar by Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. Essien was injured on international duty during the 2010 African Nations Cup and missed the rest of the English domestic season. On 4 June 2010, Essien signed a two-year extension to his existing contract that will keep him at the club until 2015. Essien returned to action on 17 July 2010 in a friendly against Crystal Palace and scored the only goal of the match to give Chelsea the win.

After missing the 2010 FIFA World Cup through injury, Essien had a bright start to the season for Chelsea. He scored the only goal in a pre-season friendly win against Crystal Palace and was an ever-present in Chelsea's unbeaten month of August. He scored a brace against West Ham United and he scored against MŠK Žilina in the Champions League. Essien also put in impressive performances against Marseille, Blackburn Rovers, and Fulham, a game in which he scored the only goal and received a red card. Essien again picked up an injury and missed two months of the season, during which Chelsea won just one out of nine games. He returned to score in the penalty shoot-out loss in the FA Cup against Everton but ultimately had a poor second half of the season. After Chelsea’s final game, the Ghana Football Association announced Essien had returned to the international squad.

In pre-season training for the 2011–12 Premier League season, Essien ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, and received surgery on 11 July 2011. His recovery was said to take up to six months. However, Essien began training lightly in late November 2011. Essien made his comeback for Chelsea from a serious knee injury on 9 January 2012, playing for 75 minutes of the reserves' 3–2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion. He made his 150th Premier League appearance for Chelsea as a substitute in a 1–0 win over Sunderland. On 21 January 2012, Essien featured as late substitute in Chelsea's 0–0 draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Real Madrid (loan)

On 31 August 2012, Essien signed a season-long loan deal with Real Madrid, linking him up with José Mourinho, the manager who signed him for Chelsea.On 3 November 2012, Essien scored his first goal for Real Madrid. During the last game of the season, and Essien's last game as a Madrid player, Essien scored his second goal for Real Madrid, a goal he dedicated to his manager José Mourinho.

Milan

Essien signed for Italian Serie A club Milan on a one-and-a-half-year contract on 27 January 2014.

International career

Essien's international career started with the Ghana U-17 national team, the Black Starlets, when he played in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand and won the bronze medal. In 2001, even though he was one of the youngest players in the tournament, Essien took part in the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with the Black Satellites in Argentina. The Satellites finished runners-up to hosts Argentina. His exceptional performances captured the attention of many and was widely tipped to be one of Africa's next rising stars. He made his competitive senior debut in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations against Morocco on 21 January 2002.but had played for Ghana in a pre-tournament friendly against Egypt on 4 January 2002.

On 16 May 2006, Essien was selected to be part of the team that represented Ghana at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. He played in midfield with team captain Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari. Essien played in Ghana's 0–2 defeat to Italy, their 2–0 victory over the Czech Republic, and the 2–1 victory over the United States, and helped Ghana become the only African team to reach the second round of the 2006 World Cup. However, Essien was suspended for Ghana's second round match against Brazil and could only watch as Ghana lost 0–3. Upon the team's return to Ghana, Essien said that the team had gained invaluable experience and would be aiming to make the next finals, held in Africa for the first time in the tournament's history at South Africa 2010.

In the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Essien turned in another brilliant performance, driving the team to the semi-finals with his power-packed performances. In the quarter-final against Nigeria, when team captain John Mensah was dismissed on the stroke of the hour for a professional foul on Nigeria's Peter Odemwingie, Essien took over the captaincy for the rest of the game and eventually won 2–1. He was voted as an All-Star Player during the tournament. The Team of the Tournament was decided by the Technical Study Group (TSG) after careful observations of all the tournament's matches.

During an international match played against Libya on 5 September 2008, Essien ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament playing for Ghana in the World Cup qualification stage and was out of action for six months, missing the majority of the 2008–09 season, before returning on 4 March to play for Chelsea Reserves against Aston Villa Reserves. He scored the last goal in the 4–3 loss. He still managed to take part in 10 of Ghana's 11 qualification matches, clocking up more than 800 minutes of game time, as Ghana finished at the top of their group and sealed a spot at the World Cup. It was announced on 27 May 2010 that Essien would unfortunately miss the World Cup after he was told that he would not fully recover from his knee injury until the end of July, more than two weeks after the tournament had ended.Since then, Essien has announced that he will be standing down from the Ghanaian national side for the near future in order to focus on his career with Chelsea, having suffered two significant injuries whilst playing for Ghana in recent years.Having recovered from those injuries, Essien subsequently promised his availability to his nation very soon.

Essien returned to Ghana's squad in August 2013 for the team's final 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. He appeared as a second-half substitute in a 2–1 defeat of Zambia as the Black Stars secured qualification to the final round. He started in both play-off matches against Egypt and was named in Ghana's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He made one appearance, coming on as a second-half substitute in the opening 2–1 defeat to the United States.

Stephen Appiah

 

Stephen Appiah

Stephen Leroy Appiah (born 24 December 1980) is a Ghanaian retired footballer who played as a midfielder. Appiah was a member of the Ghana national team, which he has represented at the youth, Olympic, and senior levels. He captained Ghana at their World Cup debut in 2006 and was a member of their squad for the 2010 World Cup.

A strong all-round box-to-box midfielder able to defend as well as create and score goals, Appiah began his career at local club Hearts of Oak in 1995, at 15 years of age. In 1996 he had trials with Galatasaray's youth squad but was not signed and he returned to Hearts of Oak.

In 1997 he moved abroad to join Italian Serie A side Udinese. He spent three seasons with the club and while there changed from striker to midfield. A transfer to Parma in 1999 was jeopardised by viral hepatitis, but Appiah overcame the illness to move there in the summer of 2000. After two seasons at Parma, Appiah went on loan to Brescia for the 2002–03 season. Appiah became a first-team regular for the Lombardians, and scored seven times in 31 games.

Appiah's success at Parma alerted defending Serie a champions Juventus to his talents. Juventus paid Parma €2 million in the summer of 2003 to secure Appiah's services on loan, with an option to a permanent €6 million transfer in 2004. In 2003, Appiah finished 8th for African Footballer of the Year.

He went on to enjoy a good first season for Juventus, playing in 30 Serie A games and appearing in the Coppa Italia final. He also made his debut in the UEFA Champions League. In his second season at Juventus, Appiah played in 18 Serie A games.

Fenerbahçe

In July 2005, he was transferred from Juventus to Turkish giants Fenerbahçe for €8 million.He went on to win the Turkish Super League Championship with the club in their centenary year. In January 2007 he was injured during the international duty with the Black Stars and he delayed the operation on his left knee until end of season.

At the end of the 2006–07 season, Appiah expressed a desire to leave and a German club made an offer of €4 million to Fenerbahçe, after Appiah's agent contacted other clubs without Fenerbahçe's permission.Fenerbahçe rejected the offer.

Injury and contract dispute

After an extended knee-injury layoff, Appiah came off the bench for Fenerbahçe in the Turkish Super League on 6 October 2007. However, the injury recurred after his last game on 1 December, and Appiah went to Italy for rehabilitation on 20 December 2007.The long-term injury forced him to miss the 2008 African Cup of Nations as a player, instead, he became a special adviser of the team.Fenerbahçe also wanted to de-register Appiah as he occupied a foreigner quota, but he refused as he was unclear with the matter.Appiah also refused to take rehabilitation in Turkey.The club also thought that Appiah was actually AWOL and Appiah thought the club exposed his medical history to the press and mistreatment to his injury, although the club defended that it had made an appointment for Appiah to visit Mayo Clinic, United States, but Appiah did not attend.On 1 February 2008, Appiah formally submitted a claim of mistreatment by asking to leave as free agent on 1 July 2008 and received the pre-agreed 2008–09 season salary of €2 million.In response, Fenerbahçe notified FIFA. In April 2008 the case went to FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), and both parties sued each other.He unilaterally terminated the contract at the end of season, as he thought the club had breached the contract by not fulfilling its duties.He also discussed with West Ham United in summer 2008 for a possible contract.DRC ordered Appiah to pay Fenerbahçe €2,281,915 as he breached the contract without just cause on 9 January 2009.He immediately appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in May after received the decision on 5 May 2009 and the club also submitted its appeal. On 7 June 2010 CAS ruled that Appiah did not need to pay Fenerbahçe, as Fenerbahçe saved more in wages (€2,633,020.65) than losses (€2,496,278.85).

Serie A return

Appiah was on trial with the London-based club Tottenham Hotspur in January 2009 with a view to a 6-month permanent contract, however concerns over his knee and fitness resulted in no contract being offered, as Spurs took up the option of signing Wilson Palacios from Wigan instead. The following month Appiah underwent a trial at Rubin Kazan,[citation needed] but the Russian champions decided against signing the player because of the same fitness concerns. Despite being without a club since his departure from Fenerbahçe in June 2008, Appiah remained a regular with the national team throughout the 2008–09 season.

On 1 November 2009, Bologna announced the signing of Appiah on a free transfer.

On 7 August 2010, Appiah signed for newly promoted Italian Serie A side Cesena on a one-year deal with the option of another year if the club stays in the top flight. At the end of the 2010/2011 season his contract expires with Cesena and remains untied.

Post Serie A

On 7 December 2011, the Daily Mail reported that Appiah was on the verge of joining Blackburn Rovers on a one-year deal after a successful trial.

'Appiah impressed and was told by Blackburn boss Steve Kean that he has to work on his fitness level,' his spokesperson told GHANAsoccernet.com

According to reports, Appiah has returned home to Ghana to bury his father, who died last month, before completing the move.

Vojvodina

On 2 February 2012, after passing medical exams, Appiah signed a six-month deal with Serbian side Vojvodina.Along with Almami Moreira and Aleksandar Katai, he was the main winter-break signing of Vojvodina in order to challenge Belgrade clubs dominance and guarantee a European competition place. He made his Serbian SuperLiga debut as a starter in a 16 round match played on 4 March 2012 against Radnički Kragujevac.

Until the end of the 2011–12 Serbian SuperLiga season, he gathered 11 league appearances and has scored his only goal in the deciding last-round home 2–1 victory against Red Star Belgrade,[10] which put Vojvodina on a final third place in the league and guaranteed a spot in next season´s UEFA Europa League.

 

 

Anthony Yeboah

Anthony Yeboah (born 6 June 1966 in Kumasi, Ghana) is a Ghanaian former professional footballer who played as a striker from 1981 to 2002.

He is considered one of the most prominent and prolific goal scorers in Ghanaian and African football history and gained a reputation for scoring spectacular goals which often featured in Goal of the Month or Goal of the Season competitions, often celebrated by wagging his index finger towards the crowd.

Yeboah is most noted for his time at European clubs 1. FC Saarbrücken, Eintracht Frankfurt, Leeds United and Hamburger SV during the 1990s. He also played for Asante Kotoko, Cornerstones Kumasi, Okwawu United and Al-Ittihad Doha. He was capped 59 times by Ghana, scoring 29 goals. He now runs an international sports agency and a chain of hotels in Ghana

Club career

Germany

After spending his youth in Kumasi, Yeboah joined German club 1. FC Saarbrücken in 1988. This move was of some historical significance, because Yeboah became one of the first black players to appear in the Bundesliga. This was a time where the Bundesliga was dominated by white players (in fact, many squads were all-German, except for one or two European foreigners).

Yeboah had a slow first year, but then scored 17 league goals in his second Saarbrücken year. He was then transferred to Eintracht Frankfurt where he was at first booed by a section of fans and subjected to monkey-noises, amongst other racist insults, him being the first black player the team had ever signed. In the Hesse metropolis, Yeboah quickly established himself as a deadly striker, silencing all critics. Equally adept with feet and head, his joyfully executed direct style of play mesmerised the fans to the point that soon, the Zeugen Yeboahs (Yeboah's Witnesses) was formed and became an overnight cult success. Yeboah was the Superstar-next-door for the people of Frankfurt and Rhein-Main area. His popularity helped pave a great deal of the way towards true racial-integration in the region, such was his profound influence on the fans and citizens, who had not all been sympathetic towards Africans until then. He was the top Bundesliga scorer twice with Frankfurt, in 1993 and 1994. By then, the Bundesliga and the German people were ready to welcome other African players like Jay-Jay Okocha, Samuel Kuffour and Souleyman Sané to play in the Bundesliga. In 1995, he and colleagues Maurizio Gaudino and Okocha clashed with manager Jupp Heynckes, which led to their departure from the club.

Leeds United

Yeboah joined English club Leeds United from Eintracht Frankfurt for a £3.4 million price tag in January 1995. In his second season at Elland Road, he was voted Player of the Year; the club's first-ever non-British Player of the Year. Yeboah scored a total of 32 goals for Leeds United in 66 appearances, and is still revered as a cult hero for the Yorkshire club due to a series of memorable goals he scored. His volley against Liverpool and his strike versus Wimbledon in the 1995–96 season were among his notable goals and he was a regular feature in Goal of the Month in the Premier League at a time when the Georgian midfielder Georgi Kinkladze of Manchester City and Matt Le Tissier of Southampton also gained a reputation for scoring world class goals in the competition. The goal against Wimbledon was also awarded Goal of the Season in 1995–96. He also scored three hat-tricks for Leeds; the first against Ipswich Town in the Premier League at Elland Road on 5 April 1995, the second against Monaco in the 1995–96 UEFA Cup on 12 September 1995, and the third 11 days later in a Premier League match against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park. Yeboah often cited his good form and prowess while at Leeds was down to his love for Yorkshire Pudding. A video was released named ‘Yeboah – Shoot to Kill’ while he was at Leeds.

Later career

Injuries (several picked up while on international duty) restricted his game when he played and kept him out of the Leeds side on several occasions. When George Graham took over as manager, there was a clash of personalities and Yeboah was sold to Hamburger SV in 1997.

Yeboah left German club Hamburger SV in 2001 after 28 goals,in order to join Al Ittihad, where he played under Austrian coach Josef Hickersberger. In Qatar, Yeboah helped his club win the 2001–02 Qatar Stars League and the 2001–02 Emir of Qatar Cup.

International career

He was a member of Ghana's national team for over ten years, and represented his country at three Africa Cup of Nations during the 1990s. Yeboah scored 29 goals in 59 appearances for Ghana, the third highest goalscoring total in the nation's history behind Abedi Pele and Asamoah Gyan.

Later years

In 2005, Yeboah appeared at the Lucas Radebe testimonial with Leeds United and African players past and present. In December 2006, he featured in a charity match christened as "Anthony Baffoe XI vs Anthony Yeboah XI". According to the organisers, this event will be held annually to raise funds to support orphanages in the country. The match ended 3–2 to Yeboah's team. Yeboah played a cameo role in the first ten minutes. The match also featured players such as Stephen Appiah, Marcel Desailly and Richard Kingson.

On 3 November 2008, he was appointed as the new chairman of the newly promoted Ghana Premier League club Berekum Chelsea.

Personal life

Yeboah runs an international sports agency called Anthony Yeboah Sportpromotion.[citation needed] He also owns a chain of hotels in Ghana (Accra, Kumasi) called Yegoala. He is married and has two children.

Yeboah is the cousin of former Mainz player Mike Osei (also his partner on Anthony Yeboah Sportpromotion).[citation needed]

Honours

Leeds United
Al Ittihad
Individual
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Abedi Pele

Abedi Ayew Pele

Abedi Ayew (born 5 November 1964), known professionally as Abedi Pele, is a retired Ghanaian footballer who served as captain of the Ghana national team. Having been given the nickname "Pelé" in recognition of his superior ability that evoked comparisons to Brazilian footballer Pelé, he is considered by many African football experts to be the greatest African footballer of all time.He found fame in France's Ligue 1 with Lille OSC and Olympique Marseille.

Three of his sons, Ibrahim, André and Jordan have also become internationals for Ghana; Ibrahim and André were selected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, while André and Jordan played at the Ayew was born into a family in the town of Kibi and grew up at Dome at the northern outskirts of Accra

Abedi Pele was one of the pioneers of African football in Europe. Although Jay Jay Okocha and Kanu Nwankwo of Nigeria are better than he is and had more successes, Abedi Pele was one of the first great African players to make an impact on European club football, he played for teams in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and most famously France where he was very instrumental in Marseille's prominence in the European Champions League during the early 1990s. Amongst his international accolades, he was often included in FIFA "All-Star" selections and captained the African All-Stars in their victory over their European counterparts in the Meridian Cup of 1997.

He left Ghana after the 1982 African Cup of Nations to join Al Sadd in Qatar for a transfer fee of $1,000.[4] After a short spell with FFC Zürich in Switzerland he returned to Ghana but, after both Kotoko and Hearts of Oak failed to sign him, joined AS Dragons FC de l'Ouémé of Benin. He would later return to Ghana and play for Real Tamale United for a season. He started his career in Europe with French association football club Chamois Niort, subsequently joining Montpellier and Lille before transferring to Olympique Marseille. He later joined Lyon. He also played for Torino of Italy, where he was named Best Foreign Player in Serie A and finally rounded out his European career with 1860 München.

Abedi Pele went on to sign a two-year contract with Al Ain Club in the United Arab Emirates and was nominated one of the best foreign players to play in the UAE league.

He was the captain of Ghana's national football team for six years (1992–1998) and was one of the first African football players to earn a top placing in FIFA World Player of the Year voting in 1991 and 1992. He is arguably Africa's most decorated and honoured football player ever, winning the France Football Magazine African Player of the Year Award three times, was the inaugural winner of the BBC African Sports Star of the Year in 1992, and the corresponding Confederation of African Football award twice. He was also awarded the golden ball award for being the best player at the 1992 African Cup of Nations, and was the "man of the match" in Marseille's historic European Champions League final win over Milan in 1993.

Abedi Pele played for Ghana 73 times and is considered the greatest football player in his country's history, and among the best in Africa. Until 7 June 2013 when he was surpassed by Asamoah Gyan, he was the top goal scorer for Ghana's Black Stars with 33 goals. He was a fixture in the African Championships of the 1980s and 90s with his national team, and a member of Ghana's victorious team in the 1982 African Cup of Nations, but he never had an opportunity to play in the FIFA World Cup, as the Black Stars failed to qualify for the competition during his career. However, he was arguably the most dominant figure on the African football scene for nearly a decade. His performance in the 1992 African Cup of Nations is often cited as one of the most outstanding football displays by any player in a single tournament. His native Ghana reached the finals of the Cup that year, only to lose on penalties in the final to Côte d'Ivoire after Abedi was suspended because of a Yellow card he received in the semi-final match against Nigeria. Prior to that, his three spectacular goals against Zambia, Congo and Nigeria proved crucial in putting Ghana through to their seventh appearance in a CAN final – and their first final in ten years. The performance earned him the added nickname of "The African Maradona". His solo run goal against Congo in the quarterfinals is often compared to Maradona's second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup. His backheader goal against Nigeria from the edge of the opponent's penalty box also heralded international acclaim.

Abedi holds the record for most appearances at the Nations Cup Finals, his record even surpassing the legendary Roger Milla of Cameroon. He made his first appearance at the 13th Nations Cup Finals in Libya in 1982 and for the next 16 years (ending at the 21st Finals in Burkina Faso) continued to grace the most prestigious football tournament on the continent, first as a member of Ghana's squad rising to become captain in 1991. Aside from his acclaimed exploits at the 1992 competition, Abedi also earned much acclaim for his three goals at the 1996 competition – where he led Ghana to the semifinals of the competition despite critics expecting him to be in the twilight of his career.

At the club level, he was a key figure in Olympique de Marseille's dominance of the French league – resulting in four league championships and two European Champions League finals appearances. An attacking midfielder, Abedi became as famous for his sublime dribbling skills as he did for his knack for scoring spectacular and often very important goals. Many such goals became regular "Goals of the Week" on ITN's weekly "European Football" program. At Marseille, he was a member of the team's "Magical Trio", along with Jean-Pierre Papin and Chris Waddle – spearheading perhaps Europe's strongest league side of the early 1990s. Abedi was the only remaining member of the trio still with the side when Marseille defeated Milan in the 1993 UEFA Champions League Final in Munich.

Ayew has the singular honour of participating in more FIFA organized charity matches than any other African player. He is very popular in many African countries, especially the French-speaking countries because of his exploits in France. In countries such as Nigeria and South Africa, football fans still wear T-shirts bearing his name. He has become one of the continent’s most respected and important ambassadors. Abedi Pele is a member of FIFA's Football Committee, and of the player status committees of both FIFA and CAF. That explains why the South African FA made him a Spokesperson for their 2006 World Cup bid. Abedi is considered one of the best players in World History not to have appeared at the FIFA World Cup, and perhaps the greatest African football player ever.

In appreciation of Abedi's devout services to the country, the Ghanaian government awarded him the country's highest honour, the Order of the Volta (civil division). He thus becomes the first Ghanaian sportsman to be so honoured.

On 29 January 1997, the first UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup All-Star Match between Europe and Africa was played in S.L. Benfica's Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal and was televised in 100 countries worldwide, including 30 in Africa, for an audience of 60 million viewers. Former Olympique de Marseille midfielder Abedi Pele was on target with a stunning goal early in the first half and, after Vincent Guérin had equalised for Europe just before half-time, it was the 1998 African Player of the Year, Mustapha Hadji, who struck Africa’s 78th-minute winner in the 2–1 win

Club

Olympique de Marseille
Al-Sadd
  • Prince of Qatar Cup Winner: 1983
Al Ain FC
  • AFC Champions League: Third Place - 1999
  • Pro-League: 1999-2000
  • President's Cup: 1999

International

Ghana

Individual

 

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