Veteran coach J.E. Sarpong has disclosed that Asamoah Gyan once sent him money to settle his rent when he was going through financial difficulties.How Asamoah Gyan gave me GHc7,000 to pay rent – JE Sarpong narratesSarpong is widely credited as the man who discovered Gyan, having enrolled him at Accra Academy Senior High School and mentored him.
The former Ebusua Dwarfs manager used to be the Sports Master at Accra Academy, where he helped to nurture students who went interested in sports.
It was from his guidance that Gyan’s football career took off, with the striker later joining Liberty Professionals.
Speaking to Ernest Brew Smith on his YouTube show, Sarpong recounted a moment when he was in financial distress and Gyan came to his rescue.
He narrated that, some years ago, he was in financial distress, but Gyan came through with a sum of GHc7,000 to pay his rent.
“I was unable to pay for my rent after the death of my mother so I reached out to Asamoah Gyan and told him how urgent I need his help because I wouldn’t have gone to him if it was not that serious. I told him I’m not asking for a house but money to settle my rent allowance,” the veteran coach said.
“He promised to give me the money after a Black Stars and he did even though I thought he might change his mind as always because the team didn’t even get a favourable result in that game.”
“He gave mu GHc7000 cash in a brown envelope and I immediately gave the money to a friend I was with because he can change his mind.”
In 2020, Sarpong was gifted a car by some former student-athletes of the Accra Academy Senior High School in Accra.
The group decided to honour him for his selfless contribution to their development when they were students at the school.
Known as the ‘Accra Aca Sports Legends’, the group was made up of old students who passed through the hands of the veteran coach.
Among those who contributed to buying the car were Leo Myles Mills Jnr, a former national athlete and Princeton Owusu-Ansah, a former Ghana international.
The administration of Kumasi Asante Kotoko are confronted with searching for another lead trainer following the renunciation of their lead trainer, Prosper Narteh Ogum.
Ogum is said to have surrendered after a crunch meeting with the club’s administration and the Technical Committee of the Board of Directors in Kumasi on Wednesday, July 20.
Ogum’s unexpected renunciation came only 10 months after his arrangement having driven Kotoko to win a record-broadening 24th Ghana Premier League title.
Realistic Online reports that the Coach’s choice to singularly stop his job after just a single season profoundly shocked both the club’s administration individuals and the board following a conflict over the enrollment of players for the impending season.
An authority of Kotoko rejected that the mentor ended his GH¢26,500-a-month contract over compensation back payments and different states of administration.
An associate mentor of the locally situated senior public group, Black Galaxies, 44-year-old Ogum was Kotoko’s thirteenth meaningful mentor somewhat recently.
Insiders uncovered to the Daily Graphic that the gathering was called to survey the club’s exhibition and furthermore talk about issues including player enrollment, the young groups and their impending effort in the CAF Champions League.
Notwithstanding, there was a conflict over a solicitation to select 17 new players and sack 10 over horrible showing, which purportedly steamed the mentor who hence ventured down as top of the specialized group.
“During the gathering with the board to examine his report to the administration, there was a conflict over his solicitation to sack 10 players and select 17 new players, including four focus backs.
“It was exactly when a few individuals from the board scrutinized the support of a portion of his demands that Coach Prosper Ogum said he had a two-year agreement however needed to continue on with his own personal business, so the club should search for another mentor,” made sense of Emmanuel Newton Dasoberi, the Administration and Operations Manager of Kotoko.
At the gathering, a few board and the executives individuals supposedly scrutinized the reasonability in utilizing 17 new players when he requested the enrollment of a comparable number of players when he joined Kotoko from West African Football Academy (WAFA) toward the start of the time.
The Daily Graphic has discovered that some board individuals are wanting to meet Coach Ogum before long to work him out of his renunciation after bombed endeavors at the previous gathering to inspire him to revoke his choice.
“The mentor has not officially kept in touch with the club about his acquiescence, yet in any event, when a few individuals attempted to convince him to alter his perspective, his reaction was that his choice was conclusive,” Mr Dasoberi told the Daily Graphic.
Mentor Ogum – – a teacher at the Physical Education and Recreation Department of the University of Cape Coast – – didn’t return calls by the Daily Graphic for his side of the story.
At the 2022 Ghana Football Awards organized by the Ghana Football Association, Alexander Djiku was named Footballer of the Year.
The Black Stars player from France triumphed, beating out Mohammed Salisu of Southampton and his fellow Black Stars teammates Joojo Wollacott, Daniel Amartey, Thomas Partey, and Daniel Amartey.
Djiku played a significant role in Ghana’s qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as well as helping Strasbourg finish sixth in Ligue 1.
He praised the Black Stars and his teammates in Strasbourg for their support in his victory speech.
Former Black Stars captain, Abedi “Pele” Ayew was given the Living Legend award for his contribution to Ghana football.
Felix Afena Gyan was named the Nii Odartey Lamptey Rising Star award and Alex Djiku was Foreign Based Player of the Year.
Full list of award winners:
Footballer of the Year- Alexander Djiku
Joe Nana Adarkwa- Ampem Darkoa Ladies (Women’s Coach of the Year)
Dr. Prosper Nartey Ogum (Men’s Coach of the Year)
Richard Nsenkyere of Samartex and Tom Vernon- Right To Dream (Thumbs Up Award)
Abedi “Pele” Ayew- Living Legend Award
Ampem Darkoa Ladies- Female Team of the Year
Asante Kotoko- Male Team of the Year
Porcupine Tertiary- Special Fan Of The Year
Nana Yaw Amponsah- Asante Kotoko (CEO of the Year)
Sadio Mane- Best African International
Iddrisu Abdulai- Goalkeeper of the Year
Asante Kotoko- Most Vibrant Award on Social Media
Grace Asantewaa- Real Betis (Female Footballer of the Year)
Yaw Annor- Best Home-based Player of the Year
Meshack Asante (Golden Kicks) Goal vs MPP- Goal of the Year
Yaw Annor- Goal King
Felix Afena Gyan- Nii Odartey Lamptey Rising Star award
Alex Djiku- Foreign-based Player of the Year
High-profile figures from the worlds of sport, music, film, fashion, and business, including former Black Stars players C.K. Akonnor, Laryea Kingston, Asamoah Gyan, Tony Baffoe, Beverly Afaglo, Elikem Kumordzi, Akosua Agyapong, and Akofa Agyeani, attended the event.
Spain-born brothers Inaki and Nico Williams have touched down in Ghana in the wake of reports that they have accepted to play for the Black Stars.
Williams brothers Inaki and Nico arrive in Ghana amid nationality switch rumours
The Athletic Bilbao duo arrived in the country on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, and were welcomed at the Kotoka International Airport by their mother.
The official reason given for their visit is that they are in Ghana to enjoy the holidays following what was a long season in La Liga.
Despite both footballers being born in Spain, they are still eligible to play for the Black Stars at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
The Williams brothers were born to Ghanaian parents who emigrated to the European nation over two decades ago.
According to a report by 3news, Inaki and Nico will hold a meeting with the management of the Black Stars to discuss a possible nationality switch.
This, however, comes after the elder of the two, Inaki, previously stated that he only desired to play for Spain, rather than Ghana.
Speaking to the Guardian last October, the 27-year-old said although he has Ghanaian parents, he feels Spanish and only wants to play for La Roja.
“I’m grateful to where I grew and became who I am. Ghana tried to convince me, but I was born in Spain, in Bilbao,” he told the Guardian in that interview.
“I won’t ever forget my family roots, but I feel Basque and can’t con anyone. I would be comfortable with Ghana, I’m sure, but I shouldn’t be there.”
“And my mum knows how people love football there: it’s quite something, and she’d be worried about me. When my mum’s angry, she swears at us in Ghanaian but we speak Spanish. When my parents came, it was English but we lost that. I could have a conversation in English but it’s not fluent now. When my grandparents call, I speak to them in Twi. I admire and love Ghana, the culture, food, tradition.”
Inaki’s U-turn, though, means he and his brother could be lining up for Ghana at the 2022 World Cup, where the Black Stars are paired against Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.
Zidane appears just like any other Real Madrid fan in his home stadium
Former Real Madrid coach made a rare appearance on camera at Stade de France
At the Stade de France there were plenty of VIP fans following the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool.
One of them was Zinedine Zidane, winner of three consecutive Champions League titles with the club, who surely gave his support to his former team in the final against the Reds.
Zinedine Zidane‘s family did not want to miss the Champions League final.
From Iker Casillas to Raul Gonzalez, as Real Madrid‘s representative for UEFA, to tennis player Rafa Nadal, who is in Paris playing in the Roland Garros tournament. Ronaldinho and Suker, among other ex-footballers, were also present in Paris.
But the presence of Zidane, who was accompanied by his wife and children, certainly generated a lot of expectation,
The former footballer returned to the Stade de France, where he established himself as a legend for all eternity with the French national team. It was there that he scored two headed goals in France’s 3-0 win over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final, a first for the French national team.
Zidane is also a Real Madrid legend, as a player for his 2002 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen, which was the club’s ninth.
The Frenchman will be remembered for his superb volley. In addition, as a coach he won three consecutive Champions League titles for Real Madrid, something that has never been achieved in their history.
The club have been operating under a special government licence which expires on 31 May.
“Chelsea Football Club can confirm that a final and definitive agreement was entered into last night to sell the club to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital consortium,” Chelsea said in a statement on Saturday morning.
32 top European clubs gave fans around the world a treat and now, the coveted trophy awaits the two remaining teams in Paris on Saturday.
Real Madrid and Liverpool overcame all hurdles, showing unshakable mentality, delightful football, and admirable quality from start to finish.
Liverpool will hope to avenge the devastating 3-1 defeat to Los Blancos in 2018 whilst Real Madrid will aim to avoid the pain they suffered in 1981 to the Reds.
What role do the numbers play in this fixture?
The basic figures
67 final matches have taken place since the European Cup, now named the UEFA Champions League was birthed in 1955.
All matches were played in a single leg, except the battle between Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich in 1974 where there was a replay. Bayern won 5-1 on aggregate.
This anomaly has been considered a single leg in this piece. Hence, 66 aggregated matches were played during the period with 180 goals recorded.
50 games were settled within 90 minutes, highlighting the fact that most Champions League finals are concluded early.
16 of those games went into extra time, with 11 of them going all the way to penalties. Five of those games were settled in extra time.
Real Madrid and Liverpool have taken part in a combined 25 finals so far.
Score first to boost chances
Out of the 66 aggregated Champions League finals played, 45 have been won by clubs that scored the first goal of the game, translating to 68.18%.
The final is mostly played in a neutral venue and the first goal is crucial in that setting. Teams have more often than not benefited from breaking the deadlock.
Eight of the last 10 winners in the competition ended up finding the net first in the final with just two comebacks required.
17 matches were lost by teams who scored the first goal, making up 25.76% of the total finals played.
Only four finals (6.06%) ended up without goals in regulation and extra time. With the firepower possessed by Liverpool and Real Madrid, a goalless draw is unexpected.
Real Madrid’s commendable record
There is none more prestigious in this competition than Real Madrid. Los Blancos have appeared in the most European finals (16) thus far and won 13 of them, no other team has won more.
They have the knack of finding the net often too, scoring 42 goals in those games with an average of 2.63 goals per game.
It is interesting to note that in eight of the 13 wins, Real Madrid found the net first whilst in the other five, they had to come back from behind.
Score first against them and risk a spirited comeback or let them break the deadlock and effectively call it an evening. Just pick your poison.
Real Madrid’s journey in the Champions League this season has been storied with comebacks. With their backs against the wall against PSG in the Round of 16, a hat-trick from Karim Benzema within 17 minutes left the Parisians in tatters.
Against Chelsea in the second leg of the quarter-final, goals from Rodrygo and Benzema after going 3-0 down delighted the Madrid faithful.
A similar story came up in the semis against Manchester City where Rodrygo hit a brace to force extra time, leaving Karim Benzema to end the tie from 12 yards.
Liverpool creates magic too
The Reds (9) have not featured in as many Champions League finals as Real Madrid (16). However, Jurgen Klopp’s side have a penchant for making those finals memorable.
They have been victors in six of those nine finals with a win percentage of 66.6%, a relatively healthy record.
Think Istanbul in 2005. AC Milan, ironically led by current Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, tore Liverpool apart in the first 45 minutes, scoring three well-worked goals.
In the second half, the Premier League side played like champions, leveling the scoreline at 3-3 and eventually winning on penalties.
Their win against Los Blancos in 1981 cannot be forgotten too. That game was played in Paris, the same venue as this year’s edition.
Liverpool will feel they can replicate the past whilst Real Madrid will undoubtedly be looking to avoid the repeat of the painful 1-0 loss.
Who will win the final?
The game will be a close one as both teams possess huge quality in all positions. There are, of course, three Ballon d’Or candidates who are expected to feature.
Karim Benzema will look to lead the Spanish giants to glory after a semi-final exit in the previous campaign.
Sadio Mane already has an Africa Cup of Nations trophy in the bag and a Champions League trophy will add to an already remarkable year.
Mohamed Salah looks like an outside candidate for the award but has made his case on the individual front, winning the Premier League golden boot and playmaker awards.
Perhaps, the first team to score would lift the trophy, just as Real Madrid did against Liverpool in 2018 or just as the Reds did against their upcoming opponents in 1981.