His touch, vision and final ball defies football belief. He is just 12. Class 6. But he is a combination of Paulo Maldini and Andrea Pirlo. Two great football assassins the world adored for varied reasons. He has the DNA of Messi too. Height, skill and goal scoring technique.
Indanfa Park is much noted for the global Stars it has nurtured. Stephen Appiah quickly comes to mind. From these sandy pitches, the path was laid before him to grace the green turf in Turin, and many others in the best leagues in the world. From these sandy pitches, the path was laid before him to grace the biggest global football competition: the FIFA World Cup in Germany and South Africa. And don’t forget the success of Black Starlets in 1995 of which he was part of.
And from these sandy pitches, he redefined what it meant to play for the Black Stars until recently.
Take a stroll on either of the three parks and emotions draw water down your cheeks. It’s sad, despite all the contribution of this innocent piece of land to society, it is still disheveled, but the land continues to be the hub of stars yet to be paraded on the global scale.
It is not surprising a boy of such age who treats football with so much kindness was found making mockery of ‘talent.’ The word is forced on society to accept it. If there is another word that better defines what he has got under his feet, it suits him.
Skill, composure, name it. Richard Aryee is football academian. A boy filled with arrogance of talent wowed football loving fans as they accompanied his elegance and artistry with raucous applauds and whoops.
It was at The Little Angels Trust cancer awareness creation. Led by Madam Lavinia Amui, she used football as the vehicle to drive home the message, assembling four schools from Mamprobi, and it wouldn’t take half an hour for the innocent looking boy to set himself apart.
Marshalling the defence for his school, Mamprobi Zion B Basic School against neighbours Mamprobi AME Zion A Basic School, he oozed class and exuded brilliance of awareness and creativity. His intelligence with that spherical object called football is above his age.
For such a student of the game, the Fresh Talents youngster embodied everything of great asset to the football community with his peerless dominance. He simply needs the tutelage of a talent moulder to reflect the luminosity of his football.
There were other great children of his age who looked promising, but his phenomenal understanding of the game rooted in his reflexes of outwitting opponents, positioning and tackling is what sets him apart. Having led his school to the final, courtesy a 1-0 win, they came up against a tougher opposition.
A free scoring Mamprobi South ‘3’ Basic School who hammered Martyrs of Uganda 3-0 in the other game. They were an all-round team and football gods were behind them to clinch the trophy at stake and they did, scoring another three, but not without losing sweat.
Richard Aryee was the reason. He stood his grounds to neutralize their opponents until they found an alternative — strike the ball from afar. Solution found and two goals were scored within the space of 10 minutes, and the Messi in him drove him out of his defence into attack. He made an impact with a goal that drew ‘kw33333!’.
Having won the ball half way through the right side of the pitch and surged forward, he accelerated freely and became a chasing pack, whittling his way through to the corner end before he was flooded by a sea of opponents. He toe poked the ball with his out step and dunked it into the back of the net reducing the deficit to 2-1.
It was the special moment of the games. Everything about him was pleasing to the eye and the football loving fibre, but that was not enough as they conceded a third goal before the end of proceedings. He didn’t deserve to be on the losing side, but that’s how cruel football can be at times.
“It’s painful to lose. I wish we had won because we came here to win,” a disappointed Aryee told Kwese Free Sports.
Reminiscing moments on the pitch with beads of sweat on his face, and a heart pumping for breath, he said: “We had chances, even the goal I scored was not a chance, but I managed to score.” Truth is, they had chances to have taken the lead, they had chances to have come from behind to score more and even win, but they never did and he’s right. They were hard done by lady luck.
Richard Aryee’s demeanor spoke volumes of a disappointed star, but he wore a grin when quizzed how he scored from such an angle. “They were three players and I wanted to pass the ball, but I realized I had no support so I decided curling the ball into the area was best. The keeper is not tall, so I scored.” Yes it was best as it ended up finding its way into the back of the net and giving him standing ovation.
Indanfa would be proud a star was spotted, Little Angels Trust would be proud it brought a star. However, this boy is in the camp of millions of talented footballers in obscurity until he’s found and nurtured with the right acumen.
By Muftawu Nabila Abdulai