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Afena-Gyan reveals 'great' Mourinho motivation after firing AS Roma past Genoa

6:37 PM GMT+8 22/11/2021
AS Roma of Ghana and striker Felix Afena-Gyan.
The Portuguese tactician reveals what the 18-year-old told him after putting the Giallorossi ahead in the top-flight battle at Luigi Ferraris Stadium

AS Roma starlet Felix Afena-Gyan has revealed the motivation he gets from coach Jose Mourinho after he came off the bench to score two goals and sink Genoa 2-0 in a Serie A fixture on Sunday.

The 18-year-old Ghanaian international was introduced in the 64th minute for Eldor Shomurodov with The Giallorossi struggling to break down the home team but he stepped up to make the difference as he scored the two goals in a span of 10 minutes and hand Roma a vital win at Luigi Ferraris Stadium.

Afena-Gyan, who was making only his third Serie A appearance, put Roma ahead with a well-curled goal in the 82nd minute before making it 2-0 in the stoppages after unleashing an angled drive past Genoa goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

“I thank God for this opportunity he gave me, the team, the coach, the fans, players for their amazing support. I also want to say thank you, mom, she is in Ghana, I love you,” Felix told DAZN after the final whistle.

“Mourinho is a great person, a great manager, and a great coach. He gives you the motivation to learn every day. I am very happy he is here.

“Tonight is a dream come true. It was my first goal, I was hoping for a very long time. I want to continue my performance, prove myself and do more in the future.”

In a separate interview, Mourinho confirmed after notching his first goal, Afena-Gyan ran to celebrate with him and reminded him not to forget about buying him new boots.

“I had promised to buy Felix the boots he really likes, which are really expensive, they cost €800, so he ran over and told me not to forget! Tomorrow morning, the first thing I do is buy him the boots,” Mourinho said.

“I am sorry for Mister De Rossi and the Primavera squad, but Felix will stay with us. The Primavera work close to us, so Felix and another four or five players have come across to the senior squad.

“What impressed me the most was his cool head in front of goal. If he is not in terms of technique, fantastic, he does have a strong mentality.

“You get these kids now who think they know everything, but he is humble and you can sense he just absorbs all this information from everyone around him. That’s fantastic.”

Born in Sunyani, Ghana, Afena-Gyan moved to Roma’s youth team on March 13, 2021, from EurAfrica FC.

He was first called up to the senior team on October 24, in Roma’s Serie A game against Napoli and he made his professional debut on October 27, against Cagliari.

His two goals against Genoa saw him become the first player born in 2003 to score in Serie A.