16 years of glory and tears: the numbers that make up Kwadwo Asamoah’s career

16 years of glory and tears: the numbers that make up Kwadwo Asamoah’s career

Football is called the beautiful game for many reasons, prominently, its entertainment effect and the euphoria it carries with it. However, there is a part of though inevitable once someone chooses a career in the world game, that is less talked about; retirement.

Retirement is inevitable and all footballers whether professionals or not will stop playing the game someday once they have started. And when that time comes, those who made it to the professional level often leave trails of memories behind due to the impact they might have made or otherwise in the course of their career.

Ghanaian midfield stalwart, now former, Kwadwo Asamoah announced his retirement from the game this week in an Instagram post. He said in the post thanking his agent Federico Pastorello, “Amazing time. Always a pleasure working with you Federico Pastorello”. And his agent replied, “Always the same amazing boy Kwadwo Asamoah!!! Good luck for your new challenge as a Football agent!!”.

That brings an amazing 16-year journey in the game to an end, a journey that started in 2005 at Sefwi Kaaseman before he linked up with former Ghana Premier League side, Liberty Professionals. So we take a look at the numbers of the midfield maestro.

Beginning his youth career at Kaaseman FC in Sefwi in 2005, Kwadwo Asamoah later switched teams and joined Liberty Professionals under the watch of Alhaji Ibrahim Sly Tetteh in 2006 and spent the 2006-2007 season with the Dansoman-based club. He then transferred to Swiss club Bellinzona and was loaned to Torino in 2008 but that didn’t last long as he switched Torino to Udinese, a place where he began to make his mark.

At Udinese, he started off well and lasted four years at the Dacia Arena raking in 114 appearances in Serie A, 5 in cup competitions and 15 in European competitions to total 134 at the club. He scored 8 goals for the club in four years.

An impressive display for Ghana in South Africa in 2010 saw him become a target for top European clubs but a move did not happen until 2012 when Juventus acquired half of his rights from Udinese by paying €9 million. He scored on his debut for the Turin club in the Supercoppa Italiana against Napoli. He then made his league bow for the Old Lady in the opening match of the season against Parma and provided an assist for Stephan Lichtsteiner as Juventus won 2-0. He went on to make a total of 116 league appearances and 50 appearances in other competitions including 27 in Europe. He produced 5 goals in the span of six seasons in Turin.

Inter Milan came calling in 2018 and he was integral as the Nerazzurri secured Champions League qualification with a fourth-place finish. He totalled 42 appearances that season with 32 coming in the league. In the 2019-20 season, he was limited to 8 league outings and 3 in other competitions as Inter Milan placed second in the league, and a losing finalist in the Europa League as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia. He left the San Siro at the end of the season and joined Cagliari for the new season.

At Cagliari, he broke the record for the most appearance by an African player in Serie A after tying with compatriot and former Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari on 270 appearances at the end of the previous season. He made 9 appearances for the Gli Isolani and took his total Serie A appearances to 279, the record for an African player.

On the international level, Asamoah made 74 appearances for the Black Stars in a career that started in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana. He scored four goals for the Black Stars including one each against DR Congo and Mali at the 2013 African Cup of Nations where Ghana finished fourth.

Honours

Kwadwo Asamoah is one of Ghana’s most decorated footballers though unlike some of his compatriots, he has not been able to win the UEFA Champions League despite two final appearances with Juventus in 2015 and 2017. He took home six Scudetto, four Coppa Italia and three Supercoppa Italiana. A two-time runner-up in the UEFA Champions League and once in the Europa League. He has also claimed Silver and Bronze with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations. On an individual level, he was awarded the CAF Most Promising Player in 2010, Ghana Player of the Year twice, in 2012 and 2013, CAF Team of the Year in 2014, Serie A Team of the Season for the 2013-14 season, and Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament in 2010 and 2012.

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