The domestic scene is an unfavourable terrain, especially for Ghanaian players who want to either return to relaunch their career or spend the twilight of their career on home soil.
Gyan & five Black Stars players who returned to the domestic league after illustrious career
Following Asamoah Gyan's sensational move to Legon Cities, Pulse Ghana Sports has taken you down memory lane to enumerate the notable Black Stars players who returned to the domestic league after their illustrious career abroad.
Almost all of the Ghanaian players plying their trade abroad once dreamt of ending their career on the domestic scene. Some even go to the extent of promising to play for certain clubs before they call time on their career.
For instance, Samuel Osei Kuffour stated categorically clear that he would play for Asante Kotoko before, retiring from the game, but he never fulfilled his promise to the Porcupine Warriors and many other footballers have done the same lip service.
However, few can muster courage and step into the unfamiliar territory.
Below is a list of players who returned to the domestic league after an illustrious career abroad:
He started his career with Accra Great Olympics and featured prominently in the Ghana Premier League (GPL) in the late 1990s, before his move abroad.
In 1998, he moved to Dutch club PSV Eindhoven but did not feature in a single match. He was then transferred on loan to Danish club Silkeborg IF where he played a total of 31 matches scoring 5 goals. After an unsuccessful time in the Netherlands, he signed a contract with Tunisian club Stade Tunisien but here again he did not feature in any match. He then moved to Saudi Arabia where he played for giants Al-Shabab and scored 47 goals in a total of three seasons.
He also won the top-scorer award in 2006–07 season for scoring 13 goals. He spent a brief period with Al-Hazm in 2008 scoring 4 goals. In 2008, he moved to UAE based club Al-Shaab and scored 13 goals in 2008-09 season. Then he moved to Hatta Club in 2009.
In 2010, he signed a contract with Alexandria based club Smouha. He stayed there for two seasons scoring 11 goals. In 2012, he came back to Saudi Arabia and featured for Hajer in fourteen matches. He scored the first and the only goal for the Al-Hasa based club against the Asian giants Al-Hilal FC. On 10 September 2013, he signed a contract with Oman Professional League club Dhofar S.C.
The former Black Starlets skipper after over decade, playing in Europe and Asia returned to his boyhood club Great Olympics.
Attram joined Great Olympics as a player cum coach of the club in 2017 and as a person who owned an academy by name Attram De Visser, he transferred some of his players to Great Olympics, so had major stakes in the club.
In the course of the season when things weren’t moving on smoothly, he withdrew the services of his players and resigned from the club, following the appointment of Tom Strand to replace him as coach of the ‘Wonder Club’.
However, he returned to the club to complete the season.
Peter Ofori Quaye
Peter Ofori Quaye like many great young talents that emerged in Ghana was nurtured at the famous Indafa Park in Mamprobi, Accra.
He played for the Accra U-15 team and was instrumental as they won an Inter-Regional Championship in Ho.
Peter Ofori Quaye also played for a division one outfit Okyeman Stars in the early 1990s, before he tasted Ghana Premier League football with Tema Ghapoha Readers in 1994.
Ofori-Quaye spent most of his career in the Greek division and has amassed 33 goals in his 10 seasons in the league. He went to the European country on the ticket of Kalamata and at the age of 17, he completed a club record move of $3.5 million.
Ofori-Quaye attracted much attention from other clubs, scoring key goals including those in the UEFA Champions League against the likes of Rosenborg BK, Olympique Lyonnais, and Deportivo La Coruna. In the 1997/1998 season he made the headlines when he came off the bench to score a consolation goal as Rosenborg thrashed Olympiacos 5-1 in the UEFA League.
The former Black Stars striker became the youngest player to score in the history of the UEFA Champions League at the of 17 years, 194 days
After a year away from football, he signed for Ghanaian club Liberty Professionals FC. In 2005, he returned to Greece signing for OFI Crete where he began to hit good form.
The former Black Stars winger played in the Ghana Premier League for Great Olympics and Accra Hearts of Oak.
Like many young Ghanaian football talents, he was snapped up by a foreign club after excelling on the domestic scene.
After having had short stints at Maccabi Ahi Nazareth, Hapoel Tel Aviv, PFC Krylia Sovetov Samara and Terek Grozny, Lokomotiv Moscow finally settled at Hearts of Midlothian in Scotland.
It was at Hearts that he established himself as one of the finest African midfielders while playing for the side from 2007-2010.
In the January 2012, Kingston returned to Accra Hearts of Oak in the Ghana Premier League signing one and a half-year contract.
He had a good start to his career on his return and became the toast of the Phobian fans. His defence-splitting passes and ball control at the centre of the park were glaring.
However, he had issues with the head coach of the team CK Akonnor after breaking camp rules and was suspended by the club, but he was recalled following the sack of the former Black Stars skipper as coach of the Accra giants.
Nii Odartey Lamptey
He was the engine of the Black Starlets team that won the 1991 FIFA U-17 FIFA World Cup. Odartey’s dribbles, eye for goals and incisive passes caught the attention of the footballing world in Italy 1991.
He inspired Ghana to win the tournament by scoring four goals and subsequently emerged as the Player of the tournament.
Odartey joined Anderlecht after the 1989 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Scotland from a colts side Young Corners, so he never featured in the Ghanaian topflight league.
But during the twilight of his career, he finally tasted the Ghana Premier League.
Unfortunately for Lamptey, he joined Asante Kotoko, a side with vociferous fans and they didn't exercise patience for him to settle down, because they needed the results. He faced criticisms from the fans of the Porcupine Warriors and he failed to relaunch his career in his one season spell in the 2005/2006.
Richard Kingson who started his career at Great Olympics brought stability to the goalkeeping department of the Black Stars during the heydays of his career abroad.
Richard Kingson has played at the highest level than any other Ghanaian goalkeeper in history. He played for Birmingham, Blackpool both in the English Premier League.
He was part of the Black Stars team that played in both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups. Kingson also kept the post when Ghana reached the final of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations final.
Richard Kingson however, saw the need to return to Gt. Olympics before hanging up his boot in 2015 Ghana Premier League
He joined them on a one-year deal from Turkish side Balikesirspor where he played 13 times.
Accra Great Olympics were lying at the bottom of the league with 6 points when the former Ghana number one joined them.
Striker, Asamoah Gyan Ghana Premier League side Legon Cities ahead of the 2020/2021 season.
The deal which worth $250,000 a year, will see the 35-year-old pocket $1 million within the four-year period.
Asamoah Gyan following the announcement of the deal by Legon Cities and the Ghana Football Association took to his Twitter handle to explain why he joined the club.
"Here we go. I’m back home to continue my career with @legoncitiesfc. I’m happy to join this club because they have a future plan for Ghana football. Don’t blink when the season starts. Follow my new club for every details of the club. Thanks for your support," he tweeted
Gyan had been available since his contract with Indian side NorthEast United expired in February. He was first linked to Asante Kotoko, but the deal fell through after the Porcupine Warriors reportedly failed to meet his asking price of $500,000
Legon Cities came into the picture after talks with Kotoko collapsed and have now managed to seal a deal with him.
Asamoah Gyan last played in the Ghana Premier League in the 2003 season with Liberty Professionals, which was his debut season and he bagged 10 goals but left for Udinese before the season ended.
He has had an illustrious career, having played for Udinese, Rennes, Sunderland, Al Ain, Shanghai SIPG, Kayserispor, etc.
At the national team level, Asamoah Gyan has represented Ghana in three FIFA World Cups and he is Africa’s all-time top scorer in the Mundial.
Gyan is also Ghana’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals.
The 2020/2021 Ghana Premier League starts on 14th November 2020.
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