Balenciaga gift: Roma players were bullying Afena-Gyan for wearing fake trainers – Mourinho reveals
AS Roma boss, Jose Mourinho has finally revealed he moved to bless Ghanaian sensation Felix Afena-Gyan with new sneakers because his teammates were bullying him for wearing ‘fake trainers’.
It will be recalled that the Portuguese manager made the beautiful gesture of presenting the 19-year-old a brand new pair of Balenciagas last November after he came off the bench in the 74th minute to score a brace and clinch a late 2-0 win away at Genoa.
It was a promise and Mourinho kept his word.
In a BT Sport interview, Mourinho revealed that the teenager was a laughing stock at Roma’s training grounds because he showed up for trials in fake trainers.
“He was there, he didn’t have a contract and he was coming with fake trainers and all the guys there were having fun with him.
“The moment he scored. I said Felix, it’s time for these guys to stop bullying you so let’s buy you a proper pair of shoes.”
A heartwarming video of Afena-Gyan opening his gift from Mourinho which was made public really went viral. The youngster, who seemingly came from nowhere to burst onto the scene, was understandably overjoyed with the gesture.
Afena-Gyan has had an incredible meteoric rise of late.
He’s gone from playing for his high school back in Ghana to the Roma Primavera and then playing 22 times for the Giallorossi first-team in the 2021/22 season.
His first-team exploits have seen him pen a sponsorship deal with German sportswear giants Puma.
Even better, he’s made his debut for Ghana in March and is in line to represent his country in the World Cup at the end of the year.
“Now he signs a contract, he goes to Ghana national team and he has fun with the other guys because the other guys are not going to the World Cup, but he is. So in this moment, things are changing.” Mourinho remarked on Afena-Gyan’s rapid ascension.
AS Roma finished sixth in Serie A but could end the season with silverware as they battle Feyenoord in the final of the maiden Europa Conference League in Tirana on Wednesday evening.