Five Ghanaian personalities who could have been footballers

Ghana, as you’d likely concur, boasts many more footballers than the 23 regularly called up for the national team, some of whom are among the country’s biggest celebrities. Here, Goal presents a quintet of famous Ghanaians who could have ended up earning their present lives of wealth and glamour with football boots but chose otherwise.


The two-time losing presidential candidate of Ghana’s biggest opposition party seems, with his stocky frame and considerably advanced age, hardly cut for action of the football pitch. Rather, he has lived out a distinguished career in Ghana’s courtrooms and political corridors. However, in the days when NADAA was younger, fitter, and sprightly, he was a very active footballer. While a student at the University of Ghana, Nana played for the university’s football team, while also featuring briefly in his youth – alongside the likes of national football legend Cecil Jones Attuquayefio – for Real Republikans (a presently defunct club established by, and moulded in the image of Ghana’s first president). Before long, though, Nana quit playing, and the rest – as the well-worn cliché goes – is history.


Another politician/Head-of-State wannabe [bearing the flag of the Convention People’s Party in the 2012 general elections], Hassan Ayariga – also an entrepreneur and accountant – dreamt of himself becoming ‘a number 9…deadly in front of goal’ while growing up.

“Anytime I played a game, I scored a goal so if I had followed football I would have been one of the best players in the world which I can proudly say,” Ayariga bragged in an interview with Allsports Ghana.

“My brother, Mahama Ayariga, and I were very good footballers so we played a soccer game between our town (Bawku) and Bolga in a competition between the two towns and my brother was stamped and had a crack in the bone which led to our father putting an end to our footballing ambitions.”

Enough said.


Former IBF Welterweight belt holder Joshua Clottey is a fine boxer, orthodox in style and ruthless when in the mood. Yet even he admits boxing hasn’t always been his only love.

“I play football better than I box and everyone who knows me from infancy and even till
date knows what I am saying,” he revealed to

“When people see me playing football, they wonder why I rather didn’t pursue it as my
main occupation.”

Indeed, after excelling in a midfield role during an exhibition match for the Black Stars select side late last year, Clottey sent a daring message to Kwesi Appiah, the erstwhile trainer of the senior national team itself.

“The dream of playing for the national team is still alive, as you can see everyone saw what I can do on the field,” ‘The Hitter’ told

“I am telling him (Kwesi Appiah) to call me because I really want to be in the midfield of Black Stars.”

Appiah might not have followed up on that offer before exiting the Stars’ head coach role, but – if Clottey has his way – his successor hopefully would.


The ‘Baba’ crooner claims to be as adept with a microphone entertaining the masses as he is with a ball at his feet.

“I loved football and I personally had dreams of becoming a professional footballer,” he recently intimated to

Instead, Badu has gone on to become one of gospel music’s biggest brands home and abroad, winning awards and churning one hit song after another. Still, his passion for the beautiful game has thrived, prompting him to establish the Eagle Eye Football Agency that has worked with a number of footballers thus far.


Much has been said about the missing hip-life artiste’s football skills and passion for Ghana’s No.1 sport.

If true, that comes as little surprise: Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan is/was, afterall, one of his closest pals. It seems the pair do/did share more than a love of music, although Gyan’s involvement in Castro’s (real name, Theophilus Tagoe) field of expertise has admittedly been more pronounced than vice versa.

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