UEFA Champions League Final: No More Big Names In Football, Says Appiah

Stephen Appiah on UEFA Champions League Final/Yahoo News

Stephen Appiah on UEFA Champions League Final/Yahoo News

Former captain of the Black Stars of Ghana Stephen Appiah has suggested that big names don’t exist in modern day football.

Concise News reports that Appiah – now Ghana Technical Coordinator – was responding to a question regarding the upcoming UEFA Champions League final between surprise finalist, Tottenham Hotspur and five-time European champion, Liverpool (1 Jun 2019).

Appiah was one of the African stars that stormed Agege Stadium last Saturday in honour of the outgoing governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode. The Testimonial match between the Africa XI and Naija Legends ended all square (4-4) in Lagos.

Speaking after the game, the 38-year-old who made his debut in the UEFA Champions League with Italian giants Juventus says:

“10 years ago; 20 years ago; 50 years ago, it’s all about the big names. But today, its football. There is no big name anymore. It’s all about what you want on the pitch and I think Liverpool and Tottenham have proved it.

“You can see teams like Chelsea and Arsenal too have proved it, so it’s not about Barcelona; it’s not about Real Madrid, and it’s not about Juventus. What you do on the pitch is what counts. And I think the two teams who are going to play in the [Champions League] final deserve it.”

On his favourite for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 title, Appiah was understandably sentimental.

“I’m yearning for Ghana,” he declares.

The exhibition match featured ex-players like Didier Zokora, Khalilou Fadiga, Diomansy Kamara, Titi Camara, Abdul Kader Keita, Herita Ilunga on the visiting players’ side and Taribo West, Tijani Babangida, Uche Okechuwku, Emmanuel Amunike, Kanu, Okocha, Mutiu Adepoju, Obafemi Martins, Victor Ikpeba, Julius Aghahowa, Ayo Makun A.Y, et al on the green and white side. Goalscorers are Fadiga, Keita, Titi Camara and Diouf for the Fanny Amun coached Africa XI team, while the net-shakers for Bonfrère Jo-coached Nigerian side are Kanu, Garba Lawal, Martins and AY.

Special Guest, George Weah of Liberia was ably represented by Minister Zeoga Wilson at the event. Also in attendance was Governor Ibrahim Dankwanbo of Gombe State among other dignitaries.

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Ridwan is a trained communicator who specialises in football and squash. He has been published by African Examiner. He provides professional coverage of general news, politics and sports, and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first Nigerian interview with South Africa's no. 1 male squash player, Jean-Pierre Brits. He is a proud Nigerian and campaigner for #NigeriaIsOurs.

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