Opoku Nti Talks About His Early Soccer Career : Former Asante Kotoko General Manager Opoku Nti has revealed that his mother was against his decision to choose football as a profession but his father supported him.
Considering the fact that Nti went on to become a successful soccer player scoring the winning goal in the 1983 CAF Champions League final as Kotoko lifted the trophy at the expense of Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
“My dad loved football, despite him being a Police Officer, he was an ardent supporter of the club and that was how I also developed love for Asante Kotoko at the age of 6 and I went with him to watch Kotoko play.
Though my mum never wanted me to play football, I had the support of my dad”, the 62-year-old told Dan Kweku Yeboah TV.
Speaking on his journey from colts to Kotoko, the former Ghana international said he was first discovered by the Porcupine Warriors in 1979 during his colt’s days.
“I was first discovered by Kotoko in 1978 in Kumasi when Kotoko played in a friendly encounter against Highlanders at the Kumasi Sports Stadium and I was invited to partake in that game. I had a very good game and at that point, I knew I would play for Kotoko because of the love I had for the club. That was how I joined Kotoko”, he added.
He is generally considered to have been Ghana’s top footballer in the early to mid-1980s before the international advent of Abedi Pele.
Opoku Nti featured in Ghana’s victorious 1982 African cup winning side as well as the unsuccessful 1984 squad; which was eliminated in the 1st round of the competition. In the 1992 African Cup, he was controversially left on the substitutes bench for the majority of the tournament in favour of Mohammed Gargo, Stanley Aboraa, and Nii Lamptey – all of whom were considerably less experienced than Nti.
His nickname is “Zico,” in honour of the Brazilian footballer and 1983 FIFA player of the year. In 1983 Opoku Nti, while playing for Asante Kotoko, finished as runner-up for the prestigious France Football African Footballer of the Year award.
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