Asamoah Gyan became the first ever player to score 50 goals for Ghana on the international level during Ghana’s 5-0 victory over Ethiopia in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier over the weekend. To put that number into perspective, the second Ghanaian on the goals list is Abedi Pele Ayew, with 33 goals in 67 appearances. In fact, he is only the fifth player from any African country to achieve the feat for their respective national squads. The 31-year-old Gyan joins Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o, Ivorian Didier Drogba, Egyptian Hossam Hassan and Zambian Godfrey Chitalu. Gyan already held the record of the most goals scored by an African in the FIFA World Cup, with six goals.
Gyan started his professional career at the age of 17, and scored a goal against Somalia in his 2003 international debut. His reputation hasn’t always been perfect, especially after missed penalty kicks in the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. On the club side, he made a brief debut with the local Liberty Professionals team before embarking on a five-year tenure with the Italian club Udinese, with a loan stint with Russia’s Lokomotiv Moscow. In 2008, Gyan signed with Ligue 1’s Rennes, and stayed there for two years before moving on to the Premier League’s Sunderland. Once he moved to Al Ain in Abu Dhabi in 2012, some believed he was going on his way to the end of his career, but he stayed active, succeeding in loans to Shanghai SIPG and Al Ahli Dubai. In a recent interview with Ghanaian radio station Hot FM, Gyan says that he would like to make one final stop with a Ghanaian club before he retires from club play. Specifically, he said he’d like to play for Kumasi Asante Kotoko, who he was a fan of when he was a younger man.