EDITORIAL: The demise of Ghana’s goal machines

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It was Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke for Manchester United of 98’,David Villa and Fernando Torres of Spain 2008,Roy Makaay and Diego Tristan for ‘super Depor’ in the early 2000’s, Ronaldo and Raul for Real Madrid, and well, whether you like it or not…there was the Ransford Osei and Saddiq Adams duo for Ghana at the FIFA U-17 WC.

The two were a pair made in heaven. They understood each other, both had the eye for goals, both were strong and quick as well. So it came as no surprise when Adams shrugged his markers to bury the ball in the Spanish post guarded by a certain David De Gea ‘Quintana’(which Ghana eventually lost) at the FIFA U 17 tournament in Korea 2007, people began to recognize him as an undoubted future star.

Well, it didn’t turn out so, fast forward 7 years ,Adams plies his trade for Saham in Oman whereas Ransford Osei  is now a  Kumasi Asante Kotoko player.

Osei began his career at his homeland club Kessben. On 28 February 2008 Ransford Osei was set to join Polish club Legia Warszawa on a six month loan contract which gave the Polish club the option to buy the player during that time. Due to a work permit issue, the transfer was blocked by FIFA. Osei stayed in Kessben

In 2008 he joined Israel based side Maccabi Haifa on loan. He subsequently signed a three year contract of employment

In July 2009 he joined Dutch side FC Twente on a year long loan deal. After a short trial period, South African club Bloemfontein Celtic gave Ransford Osei a six month contract in January 2012. In July 2012, Osei signed a contract with the twenty-two times champions of Ghana and two times champions of Africa,Asante Kotoko.

All didnt go according to plan for Osei, a Striker once described by FIFA.com as “an opportunistic goal machine” with superb pace and movement young free-scoring sensation, Osei was even recognized by World Soccer Magazine as one of the 50 Most Exciting Teenagers on the Planet in their November 2007 Issue.

When it comes to designing the perfect striker, Osei has one particular model in mind. “I’d love to have Patrick Kluivert‘s heading ability, the speed and ball control of Samuel Eto’o and the finishing skills of Thierry Henry. I’ve got a few videos of him that I watch very closely”. “Whenever I miss chances I can’t sleep at night,” Osei, the adidas Silver Shoe winner at the 2007 U-17 World Cup, tells FIFA.com. “I go through them over and over again in my mind, replaying them until I find the exact movement I should have made out on the pitch. When I’m sure I’ve learned my lesson I relax a little bit, but even then I know I’m not going to sleep that well.

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For Adams, Atlético Madrid signed a pre-contract with him in November 2007, and allowed him to train with the reserve, as FIFA stated that no international transfer is allowed for player under-18. On 3 December 2009, it was announced that Adams would join Vojvodina and later on signed, 6 December 2009, a four and a half-year long contract. He played half a season with Serbian SuperLiga club FK Vojvodina, having played only 9 league matches

On 16 May 2010, Adams returned to Africa and he signed a three-year contract with Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 club Étoile Sportive du Sahel. In January 2012, Adams signed with Saudi Professional League club Al-Ansar for the 2011–12 Saudi Professional League

Adams signed a contract with Glo Premier League club Berekum Chelsea for the 2012–13 Glo Premier League. On 24 October 2012, Adams made his debut with Berekum Chelsea in a 1–0 defeat to Medeama SC in the Glo Premier League and later joined Saham of Oman in the summer of 2013.

After these one begin to wonder if these stars alongside others like Chrisantus Macauley and Akinsola Kabiru were just not good enough for elite clubs or just had good ‘age-aided performances’.Abeiku Quansah is another, the silky quick winger after some great performances at the same world cup was also touted for greatness albeit  now plays for lowly FC Arsenal kyiv in ukraine. Not quite what was envisaged!

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But this was a tournament which also produced stars like Danny Welbeck, Toni Kroos, Victor Moses, David De Gea, Eden Hazard, Christian Benteke, Asier Illaramendi and James Rodriguez.

It’s a bit sad it turned out this way for Ghana, too sad!

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