Akwesi Donsu, Ghana Premier League's dead ball ghost

From Tarkwa to Dansoman, Tema to Cape Coast, Sekondi to Dormaa, Berekum to Bechem, Accra and back to Tarkwa, the ‘scorpionic’ bite of Akwesi Donsu's needle foot had football fans standing on their feet week in and out.

Akwesi Donsu - The dead ball ghost

The distance, the technique, the hit was embraced by raucous applause and whoops of delighted appreciation from the audience.

Take a deep breath, unleash the oxygen suffocating the lungs, and for a moment, watch the goal again and feel the aura of how embarrassingly good he is.

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The reaction he inspired from the crowd was priceless. It was the craftsman tenth goal from a dead ball, in eighteen attempts (a record), fifteenth goal in the league in his twenty sixth game of the season.

The figures stands tall. And Juninho will be smiling on his sofa whilst reading this. He is alive, but he has 'reincarnated' in Ghana.

If you're still in an Island, I am referring to Medeama SC's Akwesi Donsu.

No ifs, no buts, no maybes. Akwesi Donsu is from a different planet where a static ball from any position or angle on the pitch can meander its way into the net of the opposition.

He is not in the echelon of the world's free kick machineries, but he has treated his game like an art and he is the artist!

Akwesi Donsu's freekicks are footballing artistry, and he's mastered the art of wheeling the ball past his goalkeepers like a knife dipped into butter.

The Medeama SC midfielder scores from whatever range from goal.

Akwesi oozed class. Hitting the ball with power and precision. His technique is gold, his power is commandeering, wickedly striking the ball to fly with almost no spinning motion.

In his ten successful attempts, the ball wobble in the air unpredictably, making it difficult for the goalkeeper to save. Goalkeepers are often snafus, and the likes of Fatau Dauda, Osei Kwame, Samuel Akurugu, who were all victims of Akwesi Donsu's floating dead balls will confess they stood aloof as the ball hazard its way to break the hearts of their faithfuls. They had no idea when the ball entered the net.

For Akwesi Donsu, those moments are deeply symbolic. Two seasons ago, entirely of his own accord, he set about an intensive course of studying the free kicks techniques of global stars and worked on it until he unlocked the secret. In Medeama's en route to lifting the MTN FA Cup, he scored six goals, four of which were from dead balls in nine attempts.

The reaction was not mouth-watering, and he made a mockery of the doubts, revealing something beyond just his innate skill and vision that strikes a chord.

"When I stand the behind the ball, the first thing I look out for is the position of the goalkeeper," Donsu, now in his third season with Medeama, said in an interview with Pulse.com.gh.

He added: "I know I have the power so I just add some little trick on the ball. If I am able to beat the wall, my chance of scoring is high."

Perfect! His words echo the figures above. Last year, his accuracy was forty-four percent in nine attempts, but he bettered that, striking impressively fifty six percent of eighteen attempts in the just ended season.

Akwesi Donsu is not cell of Medeama as in the cases of Yahaya Mohammed, Latif Blessing and Sadick Alhassan for Aduana, Liberty and Wa All Stars respectively.

He has his own way of doing things, at his own pace and in his own image that feels somehow more grown-up than the auras cultivated around trio.

"I hardly have time to watch how some players take their free kicks, I just practice and play around with it.I enjoy the game more when I am distributing the ball," he revealed.

Most of modern football’s phenomena are electric in some way. Think of how Yahaya Mohammed, Blessing or Bright Adjei make the pulse quicken with their speed of movement. Donsu’s way is not electric. It is subtle. Even the position he plays in. We are not so used to playmakers sitting so deep. Football’s catalysts are supposed to operate closer to post but Donsu is hardly seen nosing around the box for Lampard-ed opportunity.

He is the midfielder who continually is on the lookout for an unspoilt corner where he can move freely just for a moment, without suffocating markers sticking to him like shadows. He looks after is a few square metres to himself -- providing a space where he can continue to profess his creed: take the ball, give it to a team-mate, and move on.

But when the opportunity presents itself for him to effect the game, he strikes it with a dynamite.

High accuracy in long distance. Is amazing, is simply magic when he kicks the ball, he makes easy the difficult. His free kicks are just too accurate.

Does he stroll on the pitch, spread the ball like Andrea Pirlo, and strikes static balls like him? Yes!

He was his team’s metronome as they finished fourth, beating Asante Kotoko to the position. The twenty something Donsu has consistently produced a level of performance for Medeama, of sumptuous substance.


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