Pulse Sports have lined up ten Ghanaian footballers who have failed to live up to expectations
Some manage to carve out a career for themselves, but go largely unnoticed by the world, while others shine brightly for an instant only to descend into mediocrity.
This is a list that could go on for a long time, so Pulse Sports have lined up ten Ghanaian footballers who have failed to live up to expectations:
Nii Odartey Lamptey is not a name that will be known by many followers of modern football, but in 1991 Lamptey was being compared to the greatest player of all time, Pele, who himself said “Lamptey is my natural successor”.
The Ghanian had lit up the 1991 FIFA Under-17 World Cup which his country won, with some stellar performances. Sadly, his career never matched the promise he showed and he became a journeyman player in Europe, making a handful of appearances for Aston Villa and Coventry in the 90’s.
Nicknamed the 'Disco Dancer', Isaka could well blame Ghanaians for building up hype around him by comparing him to football greats like Abedi Pele, Diego Maradona, et al.
In 1995, soon after helping Ghana to win the FIFA U.17 World Youth Championship, Isaka signed a contract at the Belgian club RSC Anderlecht, where he mainly played for their youth team.
He later joined Auxerre after helping Ghana to finish fourth position at FIFA U.20 World Youth Championship 1997 in Malaysia, however Isaka couldn’t reach the heights which he should have with his prodigious talent.
Isaka got national media attention as a schoolboy, and was hailed as the next big hope for the national team. While he will point to talent, it is undeniable that a combination of injuries and bad luck has meant that talented player hasn’t been able to meet the expectations of the media and fans who had hoped for much more from him.
The attacking midfielder scored on his international debut for Ghana against Jamaica on 7 August 1999, and even scored in that game.
A very gifted, tall, silky and skilful forward, who shoots accurately as well, Baba had immense talent, and looked destined to become one of Ghana's best players.
But a long standing knee injury and lack of discipline coupled with homesickness meant that a player who should have been a star for Ghana and at club level turned out to be a journeyman instead who struggled to stay at a stretch at any club.
Baba was selected as part of the provincial 28-man Ghana World Cup Squad, but was controversially left out of the final 23-man Squad because of indiscipline, a trait that many believe caused him to have an inconsistent Club and International career.
The talented midfielder was once touted as a prospect for the senior national team - the Black Stars - but the diminutive midfielder has fallen at the first fence as far as living up to the hype is concerned.
Yartey, who last played for Hearts of Oak during the 2002/2003 season had previous stints with Okwawu United and Asante Kotoko.
He was a specialist is creating good shooting and goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates durings his days with Hearts of Oak in the late 90s.
He was blessed with sweet feet but failed to deliver on a consistent basis on the field of play. It has not completely been his fault that Yartey didn't live up to expectations as health problems and a bad temperament let him down.
Bentil captained the Ghana team that won the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Championship, scoring what turned out to be the winning goal in the 3–2 victory over Brazil in the final.
He subsequently signed for German giants Bayern Munich, with Ghanaians were expecting a lot from him however he never made a first team appearance for the side in his three years there, playing instead for the reserve team, before being released in 2000.
He then spent the next few years bouncing around in Europe, playing for Kalamata in Greece, Alania Vladikavkaz in Russia, and Cherno More in Bulgaria, before heading to North America in 2006. He played with Los Angeles Galaxy's reserve team, before signing for Isidro Metapán in El Salvador.
Bentil tackled his fourth continent in 2007 when he signed for Vietnamese side Khatoco Khánh Hoà. He moved again in 2008 to play for Hapoel Nazareth Illit in Israel, and played the entire 2008–09 season for the team, before again leaving at the end of the year.
He returned to North America in 2010 and, having been unable to secure a professional contract elsewhere, signed with the Hollywood United Hitmen of the USL Premier Development League for the 2010 PDL season.
Former Ghana international's wizardry got him the nickname, Bayie.
Afriyie caught everyone’s attention during the 1997 U.17 World Cup in Egypt. He was Ghana's top scorer and the third highest scorer in the tournament with 4 goals.
Sadly, his career never matched the promise he showed and he became a journeyman player in Europe, moving to Spanish side Badajoz after just a season. He later joined bigger club Málaga, where he spent three years but was loaned to Portuguese club Chaves during his third season.
In 2001 Afriyie returned to Ghana to spend two seasons with Hearts of Oak, before spending a further two seasons in Austria with Feldkirchen. Short spells in Spain with Linares and Melilla, and in England with Enfield Town, preceded a final return to Hearts of Oak, where he finished his career in 2007.
32 year old Razak began playing at Mighty Jets F.C. youth system in Ghana in 1998. In 2000, he moved to Danish football club Aalborg Chang, and in 2001 moved to Italian club Empoli, where he played for one year.
But injuries meant that the player was declining throughout his career and failed to achieve the success he seemed destined for.
Ransford Osei was once described by FIFA.com as "an opportunistic goal machine" with superb pace and movement.
He was also recognized by World Soccer Magazine as one of the 50 Most Exciting Teenagers on the Planet in their November 2007 Issue, following his exploits at the 2007 U-17 World Cup where he won the Adidas Silver Shoe as the competitions second highest goalscorer with 8 goals, coming second by one goal to Macauley Chrisantus of Nigeria.
Three weeks before his 17th birthday, he received his first senior International call-up from Ghana coach Claude Le Roy for a FIFA International friendly match against Togo at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, Ghana, on November 18, 2007 after scoring a superb hat-trick against Togo's U17 team in a Junior International friendly at the same venue on Sunday November 11, 2007.
However, bad luck and injuries meant Osei featured eleven times for his club side Maccabi Haifa between 2008 and 2011, hampering his chances with the Black Stars.
He also had unsuccessful stints with Bloemfontein Celtic and Asante Kotoko, before returning to South Africa to sign for Polokwane City in 2015. His time in Limpopo was marred by injury and he managed just three substitute appearances during his time with Polokwane.
At the age of 17, Ofori-Quaye signed for Greek champions Olympiacos from Kalamata FC for a then club record of USD $3.5 million.
He is the youngest goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League, a feat he achieved during the 1997-98 season when he scored for Olympiacos when he was 17 years and 195 days old.
Ghanaians were convinced by the youngster’s potential and it was widely believed that Ofori-Quaye would be a regular in the Ghana setup for many years, making his debut for the Ghana national team at the age of 18 in 1998, thus becoming one of the the youngest strikers to play for the Black Stars.
But the dream gone sour as Ofori-Quaye managed 32 appearances for the national side and didn't feature in the team’s plans.
In the middle of Olympiacos' coach changing crisis, Ofori-Quaye was released by the club in 2003.
After a year away from football, he signed for Ghanaian club Liberty Professionals FC and later returned to Greece after signing for OFI Crete n 2005, where he began to hit good form and was recalled back to his national team.
On July 2007 newly promoted Israeli club Kiryat Shmona tried to sign him, but his contract was not approved in the first place with OFI reported him missing for the past three months.
He most recently played for Ghanaian club Bechem United until he was released in 2012.
Despite glimpses of his talent, he has never really built on the promise he showed in his early days at Heart of Lions and the national U.20 team.
Adiyiah was awarded the Golden Shoe for the topscorer with 8 goals in 7 games and was also named the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 U-20 World Championship.
After impressing in the U-20 World Cup, Adiyiah joined AC Milan but failed to play a single game for the Serie A giants.
Clearly a talented player, but has consistently flattered to deceive at Milan, and failed to look like the finished article.
He currently plays for Thailand club Nakhon Ratchasima in the Thai Premier League.