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Africa Cup of Nations

Gyan: How I chose to play for Ghana instead of Manchester City

2:55 PM EST 1/12/23
Asamoah Gyan 2014 World Cup.
Ghana legend Asamoah Gyan has revealed how he turned down a chance to sign for Manchester City in order to represent the Black Stars.
  • Gyan explained how his love for Ghana saw him reject City
  • The striker opted for the Black Stars at Afcon 2008 instead
  • 37-year-old still has the desire to continue with football

WHAT HAPPENED? Gyan said that he was approached by City in 2008 just before that year’s Africa Cup of Nations, which Ghana hosted, but insisted he could only join after the tournament, a stance the Premier League club did not agree with.

This was just after Sheik Mansour bought City from former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra before turning them into the global football powerhouse that they are today.

However, Gyan was unfazed by the big-money offer, which came when he was playing for French club Rennes, and opted to represent his country at the continental tournament where the Black Stars finished third.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “I always say I’m very patriotic,” Gyan told Dan Kwaku Yeboah on YouTube. “At the time, Sheikh Mansour had freshly bought Man City and they wanted to sign me.”

“But I had the national team at heart. I chose the national team over everything. That’s why some things pain me. People didn’t understand. But I’m sure after this interview, they’ll understand why things panned out that way.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 2008 tournament, however, did not go to plan for Gyan who, alongside his brother Baffour, decided to walk out on the Black Stars following criticism over their unconvincing performance after Ghana’s 1-0 win over Namibia.

The two had reportedly packed their bags and were ready to leave the team hotel but were persuaded to stay by teammates.

Gyan, would later turn into a mainstay in the Black Stars team, making 109 appearances while scoring 51 goals, to become the country’s top scorer.

Baby Jet, as he is popularly known, is also Africa’s leading scorer at the World Cup with six goals, although he has endured some painful moments with Ghana, missing crucial penalties in the quarter-finals of the 2010 global tournament, as well as the 2012 Afcon semi-finals.

WHAT’S NEXT? Gyan also revealed that he has not retired from football and having completed his coaching badges last year, it is not known whether his return will be on the pitch or in the dugout.