Ghana’s Italian ambassador Giovanni Favilli has touched on the dangers facing budding footballers in the country.
In an interview with Football Italia at a seminar in Accra, organised by football consultancy firm Goldstars Consult, on the theme, ‘The Modern Footballer’s Life Abroad, a Brand and a Business Profession', Mr Favilli commented on the requisite things that can help young footballers can become successful.
“Don’t fall for the traps of families and friends when you become successful footballers,” said Favilli [pictured, bottom middle].
“When you become successful as a footballer, you start having a lot of families and friends. People you didn’t know start showing up, claiming to be part of your extended family. Others want to be friends with you, but be solid.
“The life of a footballer is short so don’t fall for the temptations of the fun by going clubbing. You must save, don’t splash the money.
“Remember where you come from and the values you were raised with. Form successful relationships and most importantly take care of your body.”
Speaking as the guest of honour at the event, His Excellency told us that Italy was probably home to the highest number of Ghanaians plying their trade in Europe.
Approximately 100 Black Stars play their football on the peninsula, with annual remittances of over €1m to Ghana according to the ambassador.
Italy has been part of the success stories of many great Ghanaian players such as Mohammed Gargo (Udinese, Venezia and Genoa), Stephen Appiah (Udinese, Parma, Brescia, Juventus, Bologna and Cesena), Asamoah Gyan (Udinese and Modena), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Milan and Sassuolo), Sulley Muntari (Udinese, Inter, Milan and Pescara) and Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese, Juventus and Inter).