Jordan Ayew, the Ghanaian forward known for his impressive performances in the English Premier League and the national team, has revealed that his childhood dreams did not initially involve becoming a professional footballer.
At the age of 31, Ayew has become a prominent figure in Ghanaian football, amassing over 90 appearances for the national team and earning recognition as one of the country’s top representatives in the highly competitive Premier League. However, he candidly admits that his early aspirations were centered around enjoying the sport as a leisure activity. It was only by chance that he found himself on the path to a professional career in football, and he eagerly embraced the opportunity when it presented itself.
“In my youth, I played football but I wasn’t really interested in playing competitively. I enjoyed playing with my friends from the neighborhood, competing against other local areas. That was enough for me,” Ayew revealed in an interview quoted on Crystal Palace’s official website.
“I just wanted to spend time with my friends after school. I didn’t want to go to formal training sessions. I just wanted to live a normal life,” he added.
However, everything changed when Ayew reached the age of 10 and joined an Under-12 team in his local area. It was at this point that his genuine love for the game began to develop.
Ayew also shared the story of how he ended up joining the Marseille Academy in France, following in the footsteps of his father who had played for the club. Initially, he had no intention of going there but was persuaded by a Franco-Senegalese football journalist and agent.
“At the age of 14, I traveled to France during my holidays with my aunt and my brother André, who was supposed to undergo trials at Marseille. I had no plans to stay there initially,” Ayew explained.
“However, my godfather, Pape Diouf, encouraged me to join their training sessions during the holiday. That’s where it all began. I went to training, performed well, and they didn’t want me to return to Accra,” he continued.
Ayew has since established himself as a prolific scorer in the English Premier League, holding the record for the highest number of goals by a Ghanaian with 33 goals to his name.
In summary, Jordan Ayew’s journey to becoming a professional footballer was not initially driven by a burning desire for the sport but rather stemmed from his enjoyment of playing with friends. However, as fate would have it, he discovered his passion for the game and embraced the opportunities that led him to his current success.