KickerGH profiles Ghana’s biggest ever stars in Italian football
By: KickerGH Staff
The first edition of the Calcio Trade Ball, football’s bilateral trade partnership between Ghana and Italy, was held in Accra last Thursday night. The event, as part of its agenda, celebrated Ghanaian footballers who’ve played in Italy, the all-time best five of whom KickerGH profiles:
Gargo was one of the first from Ghana to make a name for himself on the boot-shaped peninsula. The former Real Tamale United man didn’t win an awful lot while in Italy, but he did enjoy his stay for the most part. The country was his first stop after leaving RTU, joining Torino for a season and, after two years wandering Germany and England with little success, returned for a decade with Udinese, Venezia, and Genoa. He notably spent the bulk of that spell at the Stadio Friuli, some of it as skipper, and opening the doors of the club to several future Ghanaian stars — including, well, everyone else on this list.
His strong physique and tenacious box-to-box midfield style made Appiah a perfect fit for Serie A, and he made his mark with four clubs — mighty Juventus the biggest of the lot — in the Italian top tier before moving to the Turkish Super League.
Even when the world thought him spent, the Italian game later sought the Tornado‘s services again for two seasons at as many clubs. For those collective ten years Appiah spent being converted from attacker to that versatile midfielder he became, no Ghanaian who ever played in Italy comes close.
EMMANUEL AGYEMANG BADU
Badu’s 2010 winter move to Udinese was widely publicised. Fresh off winning the Fifa U-20 World Cup (memorably scoring the decisive spotkick in the final), Badu had everything to prove in building a strong club career.
After six seasons, the 25-year-old has certainly become an integral cog in the Udinese set-up. In thirty-three league games for the Zebrette last season, to illustrate, Badu raked in four goals and half as many assists from his role in midfield. It seems, with each passing campaign, Badu continues to position himself as one of the best Ghanaian exports ever to Italy.
Needless to say, Kwadwo Asamoah has had a very good time in Italy for most of his stay in Lo Stivale. Starting his professional career with Udinese in 2008, the left-footed maestro impressed enough over four years in Udine to earn himself a move to giants Juventus in 2012. Asamoah scored on his debut for his new club, further glittering mainly in an unnatural left wing-back’s role that still seemed to fit perfectly with his skill-set, leaving him in the kind of deep position from which he seems to do his best play-making. With four league titles and close to 200 appearances over eight seasons, Kwadwo is definitely one of Serie A’s brightest Ghanaian talents and, with his eight-trophy haul of silverware, perhaps the most successful of them all.
SULLEY ALI MUNTARI
The left-footed midfielder first arrived in Europe at Italian club Udinese and made his debut against AC Milan in 2002, a club he later represented at some point in his eleven-year stay in the country. Somewhere between those two, Muntari joined Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan and is actually regarded as one of the tvery best to wear the jerseys of both Milan giants.
The 31-year-old had a far more successful career with Inter, though, winning the Uefa Champions League, the Fifa Club World Cup, and a good haul of domestic titles. You can’t top that, can you?