I missed out on Man City deal because of Afcon 2008 – Gyan
Black Stars skipper Asamoah Gyan has disclosed his deepest regret as a professional footballer was sacrificing a potential move to English side Manchester City by playing in the 2008 Nations Cup in Ghana.
According to the all-time Ghanaian top scorer, he ignored advice from his manager not to play in the tournament and ended up losing the opportunity to sign for Manchester City to play in the English Premier League in the 2009/2010 season.
Gyan’s performance for the national team was widely criticised in that tournament, especially after failing to convert goal-scoring chances.
Although the Black Stars went ahead to win bronze in that competition, Gyan told Citi FM in an interview on Wednesday 14 June that he later regretted playing in that tournament.
“I shouldn’t have played in that tournament because I wasn’t feeling good. I was injured but I was one of the important players in the team, so I just had to sacrifice and at the end of the day…people have criticised me. But that year I was like ‘it was so unfair’. So I will say it was my [greatest] regret because I was warned not to come,” he said.
“Even that year I was about to sign for Manchester City with Sven-Göran Eriksson. So Eriksson was the one who took me to China. He was the one who signed me in the Chinese team. He told me: ‘I needed you in 2008 and you got injured,’ so when I got injured, that was when they signed Emmanuel Adebayor, but I was number one on the list. I remember my agent told me: ‘Don’t go to the African Cup of Nations, make sure you are OK then we can go and sign the contract’ and I said: ‘Let me go.’ This is African Cup and we were hosting it and so I had to come and play and then I put my life, my work, down to come and play for the country and at the end of the day I was the worst player in that tournament. …And I couldn’t go to Manchester City because of 2008 AFCON,” the Shanghai SIPG striker narrated.
Despite the heavy criticism, Gyan is the highest goal scoring player for the national team with 50 goals and the highest African goal scorer at the World Cup with six.