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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top 15 Things You Didn't Know About Asamoah Gyan

Ghana's John Mensah, left, tries to console Asamoah Gyan after penalty miss
Asamoah Gyan. Remember him? Every football aficionada remembers him. And especially those who were lucky enough to watch him blast a last-gap penalty against the woodwork that denied Ghana and Africa as a whole the chance to feature in the FIFA World Cup semifinals for the first time.

Mention the name Asamoah Gyan to anyone who was lucky enough to watch the dying minutes of the Uruguay versus Ghana match at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and they are likely to respond with a flinch.

For what explanation can possibly be given when a player fails to convert a history-making penalty in virtually the last kick of the match? Well, Gyan failed. Whether he succumbed to pressure or his luck had run out, Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan will forever be remembered for squandering the best and perhaps easiest opportunity in football – converting a penalty.

So when his penalty hit the cross bar meaning the two teams had to go for a penalty shoot-out, which Ghana lost, Gyan did not only disappoint his growing fan base but the whole of Africa.

Gyan featuring on the video, African Girls
Which explains the reason why he all of a sudden turned from the hero who scored the three goals that made Ghana only the second African side to reach the quarterfinals in the FIFA World Cup, to a villain who fired a last-gap penalty against the woodwork. One that denied his country and Africa a place in the semifinals and a realistic chance to compete in the finals.

But what is it that you don’t know about the Sunderland and Ghana forward? Here are the top 15 things you didn’t know about him

1.)    He was born on November 22, 1985 and shares the same birthday with Nigerian footballer Yakubu Aiyegbeni, American actress and singer Scarlett Johansson and former French general and statesman Charles AndrĂ© Joseph Marie de Gaulle who led the Free French Forces during World War II.

2.)    He attended high school at Accra Academy, the same school where current Ghana left back Lee Addy and former Ghana midfielder Owusu Afriyie studied

3.)    He cites former French and Manchester United forward Eric Cantona as his football hero. He also draws his inspiration from African strikers like Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o, Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba, Togo’s Emmanuel Adebayor and Mali’s Fredi Kanoute

4.)    He became English Premier League side Sunderland’s record signing after £13.2m move from Stade Rennais. The move from the French club was only finalised 20 minutes before August 2010 transfer deadline.

5.)    Gyan wears No.33 shirt for Sunderland, but only because Kieran Richardson already took his lucky No.3. He has number 3 cut into his hair on both sides of his head and also wears a No.3 medallion. He says, “Three is the shirt I wore as a teenager in Ghana. It is a powerful number. I’ll give you an example. If you are lifting something heavy, you count to three before you lift. If you want to warn someone, you warn them once, then twice and the third time you take action.”

6.)    He has been shortlisted for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award alongside other Africans Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto'o

7.)    Asamoah Gyan’s girlfriend is the bootylicious Irene Akosua Boatemaa Dwomoh the 2006 Miss Ghana.

8.)    He can dance and rap and recently co-released a single called African Girls with Ghanaian hiplife artist Castro the Destroyer where he features under the nickname 'Baby Jet'. The video shows his dance celebration, ‘Asamoah Dance’, which he demonstrated at the FIFA World Cup 2010.

9.)    If he were not a footballer, Gyan could be playing music. He writes his own music, likes hip-hop and dancehall and artists Eminem and Sean Paul. “Music is my life after football. Some players like to play golf, I like music.”

10.)    Gyan is the only player in World Cup history to have stepped up FIVE times in two world cups to take penalties. He has converted three and missed two.

11.)    In November 2004 Gyan scored his first international goal at the age of seventeen against Somalia, becoming the youngest ever player to score for Ghana. The hitman also scored the fastest goal of the 2006 FIFA World Cup after 68 seconds against the Czech Republic, Ghana's first ever goal in a World Cup final.

12.)    He hit the record books in the 2010 FIFA World Cup by having 33 shots, the most by any player at the tournament. He was also named Man of the Match in the games against Australia and Serbia

13.)    Scored in his debut against Wigan, after side-footing Jordan Henderson's cross past Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi

14.)    In an interview, Gyan said he could have also handled the ball on the goal line if it meant getting into the 2010 World Cup semi finals. “I have forgiven him. If it was me, I’d have done the same thing,” he says of Luis Suarez who cleared the ball with his hands. “He made himself a hero in his country. It was cheating, but he got Uruguay into the semi-finals. Maybe I’ll have to do that in an important game for Sunderland.”

15.)    His brother, Baffour Gyan, currently plays in Ghana for Asante Kotoko.

Just in case you forgot about the penalty miss at the world cup, here it is again:

And the collabo with Castro the Destroyer:

And finally, the why he's considered as Africa's answer to Michael Jackson - the 'Asamoah Dance'

And That's thesteifmastertake!!