Crystal Palace and Ghana star Jordan Ayew has revealed that he did not have any ambitions of becoming a professional footballer when he was young.
The 31-year-old, who has become one of the most prominent players for Ghana, with over 90 caps for the national team, has also earned praise in the English Premier League as one of the best players from his country in the league.
However, the former Marseille striker admits that he only played football for fun as a kid and did not have any serious goals of making it as a career. He says that it was only by chance that he got the opportunity to join Marseille’s academy when he was 10 years old and that’s when he started to develop his passion for the game.
“I was playing football but I didn’t really want to play competitively in my youth. I was always playing with my friends from our area and against other areas, and that was fine by me.
“I just wanted to be with my friends after school, I didn’t want to go to practice. Just to live a normal life,” Ayew said as quoted by Crystal Palace’s official website.
“Then I got to a certain age when I was 10 where I joined an Under-12s team in my area, and I think that’s where the real love for the game started for me,” he added.
Ayew also shared that he had no plans of staying in France when he accompanied his elder brother Andre Ayew, who was going for trials with Marseille, where their father Abedi Pele had played before. He says that he was persuaded by his godfather Pape Diouf, a former journalist and agent, to train with Marseille during his holidays and that’s how he impressed them and got signed.
“I went to France at the age of 14 and joined the Academy at Marseille. I went to France for my holidays with my auntie and my brother, because [André] was supposed to do a trial at Marseille. I was not planning to stay there.
“Then my godfather, Pape Diouf, said: ‘Come in and train during the holiday’. That’s where it all started. I went to training and it went very well – they didn’t want me to go back to Accra,” he added.
Ayew is currently the highest scoring Ghanaian in the history of the English Premier League with 33 goals.