The President of Cheetah Football Club, Abdul Hayye Yartey, has narrated how he discovered the late winger, Christian Atsu.
As an experienced football scout, he was tasked with scouting about four players for Portuguese football manager, Paulo Cardoso.
In 2008, Paulo Cardoso arrived in Ghana to meet the selected players. Christian Atsu was among the four selected footballers.
According to Mr Abdul Hayye, it was difficult poaching the winger from the football academy, because he was yet to complete the course, but he (Mr Abdul Hayye) and his team persisted until the player was released to play for Cheetah Club.
Mr Abdul Hayye, who spoke on Prime Morning on Wednesday, said he selected Christian Atsu because his talent was unique.
“When I saw Christian running with the ball, I told Paulo, but he said we should wait for a while. After 25 minutes, the four of us came to an agreement that we’d seen a special talent in Christian. He had a lot of abilities in terms of beating players,” he told Roselyn Felli.
After the winger played for the club for a while, he was privileged to have been signed to play for Berekum Chelsea but could not, as he (Atsu) had to travel to Porto for a trial.
Mr. Abdul Hayye further disclosed that he was reluctant to persist in the release of Christian Atsu from the academy, but the winger never gave up until everything was successful.
“I remember going back to the academy for one and a half years. It was back and forth until September 2009, when I got a call from late coach Arday that I should come over for us to negotiate the release of Christian. Initially, they wanted us to pay GH₵25,000 but after a year, we finally paid GH₵5,000 cedis, and they released the boy to us.”
Christian Atsu’s breakthrough began when he got the opportunity to join FC Porto after he qualified for the trial.
Mr Abdul Hayye said, “He promised me he was not going to come back until he makes me and himself proud. He was going to play football at the highest level, and the world would hear his name.”
The coach further stated that Christian Atsu was invited to join the Black Stars by Kwesi Appiah after watching some videos of the player presented to officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
He also revealed that Christian Atsu was the first player to have been sent abroad from the club.
The player died in a devastating earthquake that hit southern Turkey on February 6. He had been playing for the Hatayspor club.
Although the winger died untimely, Mr Abdul Hayye is proud to have produced an amazing football talent for Ghana and the world.