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CAN 2008: Kufuor drove to team’s hotel to dissuade me from leaving camp – Gyan

Asamoah Gyan has recounted how ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor drove all the way to the Black Stars camp to speak to him during the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

CAN 2008: Kufuor drove to team’s hotel to dissuade me from leaving camp – Gyan

Ghana hosted the 2008 AFCON, with the Black Stars going on to finish third in the continental showpiece.

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However, Gyan was one of the most vilified players during the tournament, having been targeted by the home fans for his wastefulness in front of goal.

The criticisms were so severe that the striker, then just 22, planned to leave camp with his senior brother, Baffour Gyan, after Ghana’s second group game against Namibia.

However, it took the intervention of then-President John Agyekum Kufour for him to rescind his decision.

Fifteen years on from that incident, Gyan has revealed that he decided to leave camp because his mum couldn’t handle the abuse from aggrieved fans.

“My mum called me while I was in camp and she was crying, so I got angry and decided not to play anymore,” he told Dan Kwaku Yeboah in an interview on YouTube.

“The team was staying at the Fiesta Royale Hotel and our ex-President Kufuor was at African Regent Hotel, but he drove with all the sirens all the way to talk to me. He was a huge fan of mine but we hadn’t met before that day.

“I had a one-on-one chat with him. I got to know he likes me very much. Up to now, we still have a good relationship.”

The former Sunderland striker also stated that being patriotic meant he always chose the national team over everything else.

The 37-year-old played for the Black Stars for a decade and a half, becoming his country’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals.

He is also Ghana’s second most-capped player, having played 109 times across different tournaments and friendlies.

Opening up on his love for his country, Gyan said he chose to play for Ghana over signing for Manchester City in 2008.

He explained that the Premier League side wanted to sign him that year but moved on to sign Emmanuel Adebayor when he told them he wanted to play for Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

It will be recalled that Ghana hosted the AFCON in 2008, with the Black Stars going on to finish third in the tournament.

“I always say I’m very patriotic. At the time Sheik Mansour had freshly bought Man City and they wanted to sign me.

“But I had the national team at heart. I chose the national team over everything. That’s why some things pain me.

“People didn’t understand. But I’m sure after this interview they’ll understand why things panned out that way,” he added.

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