Accra (Ghana), June 28 (IANS) Thousands of Ghanaian football fans, among them President John Dramani Mahama, filled the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday to witness a memorial match in honour of former Black Stars skipper Stephen Appiah.
Appiah joined other international stars to play in the one-off game to officially announce his retirement from active football after more than two decades of an illustrious professional career, reports Xinhua.
The match between a select national side and Appiah XI featured a galaxy of stars such as Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, ex-Dutch international George Boateng, Togolese forward Emmanuel Adebayor, former Italian star Guiseppe Coluci and a host of others.
Appiah, known as “Tornado”, captained Ghana to its first-ever World Cup appearance in Germany in 2006 and was the leader of the Black Stars squad that came close to hitting a semi-final berth at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
From the sandy pitches at Indadfa Park in Accra where his career was honed to the grassy green field in Turin, Italy, where his career blossomed, Appiah’s tells a great true story of a Ghanaian patriot who with nothing, from nothing, rose to become a global icon, thanks to the power of football.
The former Juventus star said he was honoured to represent Ghana both on and off the pitch.
Appiah, who was capped 67 times for the Black Stars of which he managed to score 14 goals, has been an inspiration to the entire Ghanaian youth and beyond.