Home SPORTS Exclusive: Abedi Pele opens up about his kids’ transfer deals and family

    Exclusive: Abedi Pele opens up about his kids’ transfer deals and family

    There are very few families in the world that can be truly described as a “footballing family”, the Wallaces, the legendary Charlton’s, the Shanklys but you won’t miss the Ayews.

    Abedi Ayew better known as Abedi Pele was an attacking midfielder most famous for his three year spell at Marseille in the early 90’s in the French league.

    Abedi has 73 caps for Ghana and an enviable return of 33 goals for his nation.

    His three children, Rahim, Andre and Jordan are all Ghana internationals and have represented the country at the FIFA world cup. Abedi is the ONLY father in the world to have chopped this feat.

    With Andre and Jordan making history by becoming the first brothers to ever make their debut in the English Premier league on the same day; Jordan played for Aston Villa against Bournemouth and Andre played against Chelsea, Pele opened up with Citi FM’s Rahman Osman to discuss the past, the present and future of his children and football in Ghana.

    You played in France for some time before moving to Italy. How difficult was it acclimatizing to your new environment and new team mates?
    Well it is not easy for players to move from one club and get it right from the onset. It’s only a few players that are able to master the trick of performing early on and when you get that you win the trust of not only your mates but that of management of the club and I managed to do that.

    You must be a very happy man, two of the biggest transfers in Africa this summer involved your children, Andre and Jordan was it calculated or it was just coincidence?
    Well I think it’s both, Andre was a free agent and Jordan was under contract, his performance must have been great for a club to come and pay that kind of money.

    But you will need to have a bit of luck to be able to cease an opportunity to turn it into a success and as things stand, as at now we are hoping that at the end of the season we come back and they all have performed for their various clubs.

    The issue about Andre – Liverpool, Roma and even Totthenham Hotspur wanted his signature, what went into the decision for him to move to Cardiff with Swansea City?
    Talking about the transfer, considering the rumors we don’t know that all were true but I consider it as real. Because of Dede’s transfer I had to go to France for a good one month and one big stumbling block was he had changed so many managers a lot so they were not sure who to deal with.

    So I just decided to put everybody down and take the deal myself, I met Roma first and then Athletico Madrid but a free agent is a free agent and if you look at Andre’s caliber then you must be ready to pay a lot for him.

    During the negotiation I realized that these managers and agents thought more of themselves than the players involved so as a father I could deal with the situation when the going got tough. That is why I say we had a bit of luck because this was the very first time I was doing something like this and it all came out very well.

    You have been on record saying that Jordan is the most talented of all your children what makes him so special?
    They are both my children and you take each person with his qualities but I am not the only person to say that even Andre also says that Jordan is the most talented in the family. Jordan has got speed and he is very elegant and very nice to watch. He is relaxed, skillful and has strength, he has got all the ingredients to be a good striker.

    In France he has proved it a couple of times but he is still young and we are working on him to be the best not only in Ghana but in the world. He is not like Andre who imposes his authority immediately, he takes time to get it going. That is the difference.

    Were you surprised with the explosive debut of Andre?
    May be yes may be no (Laughing out loud)

    When Aston Villa is playing Swansea City where will your heart be?
    (Laughing out loud) – My heart will be with both teams and pray that they both score for their respective clubs.

    I saw Lorient play Marseille when Jordan scored two and Andrew scored one I was the happiest man in the whole world at that moment.

    You Must be a very proud man, ex-footballer Brazilian Pele and Maradona’s kids have all tried football but it didn’t quite work out well what is the secret of the Ayew family?
    I think I will humbly say that it is in the hand of God you can’t explain it, it’s God giving the talent and we living up to the expectations. Without God we cannot achieve what we are doing it’s truly amazing.

    Now Ghana hasn’t won that elusive 5th Africa cup of nations, as someone who knows a lot about football are we getting closer?
    Well I have mixed feeling in the sense that, as well as we have played well in the world cup and in the Africa Cup of Nations but we have failed to bring the trophy home and I fear for our future.

    Our league is in shambles and we are not bringing up players to help the ageing ones. The future is not bright at all there is a danger and I am very very worried, most of our players are going to the Arab world and going to countries where football is not at the highest level what is the future if you think?

    We don’t have a future. Very soon you will see what I am talking about. I really don’t want to speak on this because I would be misinterpreted but I am just watching the situation and I fear danger is coming.

    As a powerful person in football do you think you can do something to arrest this danger you are talking about or you will just sit in your corner and watch?
    When it is already damaged it would take you another five years, ten years to repair but the football lovers cannot wait.

    I have been the chairman of the juvenile side in the FA before, I went to Nestle myself and I had sponsorship and we played inter regionals which was all top but since I left they have been unable to follow up to give the children the hope they deserve.

    I think we all have to go back to the drawing board to ensure we give the children the opportunities they deserve and try to let people that are passionate about football drive football.

    Source: Rahman Osman /citifmonline.com


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