Feature: The Curious Case Of Clifford Aboagye — Once Ghana’s Great Hope, Now Thrust Into Oblivion - Footy Dreams

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Feature: The Curious Case Of Clifford Aboagye — Once Ghana’s Great Hope, Now Thrust Into Oblivion

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Clifford Aboagye was billed not only as one of the greatest prospects of his era but indeed one of the most exciting Ghanaian player ever.

 That can, admittedly, get quite tiresome.We’re used to the normal chitter-chatter of a promising young footballer being the next superstar, so such comparisons are usually taking with a fistful of salt. Clifford Aboagye’s demise has made him the poster boy of under-achievement; typecast in every conversation as the archetype of wasted potential.

  The Accra -born attacking midfielder, was in his early years, considered to be as good as, if not better than most of Ghana’s best- attacking midfielders of yore.

 Aboagye started learning the ropes at Ghanaian side, International Allies where his superb performances earned him a place in the Black Satellites team that represented Ghana at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.  

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Not having the height (5ft 4in), the build or the speed that many consider prerequisites of midfielders in modern-day football.  That is precisely why it was a delight to see the way he dominated matches, proving that exquisite technique and innate talent still have the beating of power football.

He was blessed with the ability to get fans off their seats.  A flair player in the truest sense of the word. He used his talent to entertain. Whether through his dazzling dribbling ability incisive passes or deft touches, this was a player who gave supporters their money’s worth and his name will not be forgotten by patriots who watched the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

It came as no surprise when he was awarded the Bronze Ball of the tournament as he led the Black Satellites to a third-place finish. Such performances couldn’t go unnoticed as Aboagye earned for himself a lucrative move to Serie A side Udinese Calcio, who subsequently loaned him Spanish outfit Granada CF with whom he barely made a mark.

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 At Granada B, he could only score 8 goals in 84 games.  That ended his stay with the Spanish outfit he was sent out on loan to Mexican side Club Atlas with whom he stayed with for two seasons chalking 63 appearances with 2 goals.  Sheer ignominy of his fall from grace led to only 15 appearances at his next club Queretaro

I don't regret leaving Europe to play in Mexico — Clifford Aboagye

Aboagye’s downward trajectory has surprised many especially his fans and neutral Ghanaian football lovers alike.  Even with spells with Liga MX sides Club Atlas and Queretaro, Clifford Aboagye has certainly failed to live up to the potential he had. 

This is a player once tipped to hoist the flag of Ghana high on the global map but…

Currently, with another Mexican outfit, Tijuana, his name is rarely mentioned without the melancholic pondering of “Whatever happened to” preceding it- unless of course his name is being referenced in fable-like fashion, warning the pressures of mounting expectation upon the shoulders of young footballers. Here was this kid who had incredible close control, a first touch that was the stuff of dreams and a performance level that was at a far higher than his age suggested.

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He was destined to be a star but it just didn’t work out as it should have.  I doubt we will ever have a definitive reason why, but we can look at his career and try and figure where exactly Aboagye stopped being one of the game’s biggest talents.  

At 25, Clifford Aboagye has fallen drastically short of what his formative displays promised to provide.  His supreme talent as a youngster was squandered due to a combination of pressure, greed and too much too soon – a problem which is becoming more prevalent for today’s young footballers.  Once a national treasure, his career now seemed trapped deep in the bowels of an echo chamber, with every one of Aboagye’s efforts reverberating with the same infuriating, futile result. The former starlet is the definition of a ‘what might have been a legend.’ 

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Sadly, his best days are surely already behind him. 

By Godfred Budu Yeboah/Kickgh

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