From The Sandy Pitches Of Aboabo To FC Porto — THE INSPIRING STORY OF KELVIN OWUSU BOATENG - Footy Dreams

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From The Sandy Pitches Of Aboabo To FC Porto — THE INSPIRING STORY OF KELVIN OWUSU BOATENG

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FC Porto fans pine for the glory days when they used to be a force to reckon with not in Portugal but on the continent also, when winning silverware at the highest levels was achievable and when they had the sort of committed and talented heroes that other teams in their division would kill for.

There’s no doubt that supporters of ‘Azuis e brancos’, currently facing in a decade in the doldrums of continental silverware, miss the halcyon days. The Dragons last won a European title in 2011 when they defeated SC Braga in an all- Portuguese final of a European competition. Radamel Falcao scored that important goal to win the Europa League trophy for Andre Villas-Boas’ side. The famous blue and white shirt of FC Porto has graced the shoulders of many legendary footballers over the course of the club’s rich, successful history. Varying personalities, profiles, and backgrounds put this shirt on over the club’s storied 126-year legacy, administering an array of different playing styles and methods of expression on the pitch. 

The club is credited with giving African footballers the opportunity to hone their skills in Europe. The likes of Rabah Madjah, Benny McCarthy,Malagueta, Chancel Mbemba, Ze Luis, Vincent Aboubakar, Moussa Marega are among the continent’s players to play for the Portuguese giants. Ghana has had its share too with David Addy and Christian Atsu, Daniel Opare and Abdul Majeed Waris. The latest Ghanaian to join the fold of FC Porto is Kelvin Owusu Boateng.

 Born in Aboabo, a suburb of Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, Boateng’s football journey began like most of the African footballers. 

On the sandy pitches and usually barefooted, he and his compatriots turned out for various youth football clubs. They just enjoyed playing the game and were content with tips or being carried on shoulders as a reward for standout performance. That was about all the game had for them.  Zebra FC, a colts club in the city offered the young Kelvin the chance to learn the rope. The Celtics Park at Yelwa became the theatre of his first marauding runs, the ball already glued to his right foot. It was here that his instincts and the ability to find the back of the net were noticed. He scored goals for fun! Little Boateng was obsessed with football as a kid and showed an immediate aptitude for the beautiful game on the floor of a shabby park.

It is easier to count the number of clubs which weren’t interested in signing Kelvin Owusu Boateng than those that tried to acquire him after his consistent impressive showings but it was Right to Dream Academy that won the race to sign him on.  For those aware of his talent and upbringing, it was refreshing news to have such a talented youngster joining one of the country’s biggest football academies. His spindly build was a direct consequence of malnutrition, owing to a lack of money to properly feed himself. In fact, his impoverished barely had enough money to feed on so he had to engage in menial jobs to support himself and his family financially.

It was a hard upbringing, one which required him to learn who he was from an early age. He would always assure his family of turning the fortunes of the family around because he had the conviction of becoming a great footballer in the future. Kid’s play has now become a reality. “Life has not been easy for me,” he reflects. “I’ve suffered a lot. I’ve been there before. Now look at me, I might not be okay, but my life has changed. He told kickgh.com

Ghanaian sensation Kelvin Boateng makes first team debut for CD Aves

  Fierce shooting with either foot, a constant threat in the air and a finely tuned predatory instinct in the box combine to make Boateng a complete forward. He continued his goal scoring exploits at Right to Dream Academy bettering his own goal-scoring records year after year and landed a trial with Portuguese outfit, CD Aves in 2018. Lady luck had smiled on him and got selected among the many that participated in the trials. He was asked to join the club’s U19 side where he netted 16 times in 32 appearances in his debut season. This was certainly good enough to earn him promotion into the club’s U23.  

He didn’t disappoint but returned the confidence reposed in by his coaches. He registered 12 goals in 32 games. The stats were good enough to earn him another promotion but this time into the senior team. His debut display was of such a high quality, that he made two further appearances before the season ended. On 14 July 2020, FC Porto announced the signing of the 20-year old Ghanaian forward on a season-long loan with an option to buy should he excel with Porto’s reserve side, Porto B.

 “There are no words to describe what I feel at the moment. I am very excited to be joining FC Porto and I want to make history here. I want to help FC Porto B and score goals so that I can reach the main team. Collectively, we will fight for victory in every game, whatever the opponent.” quipped Boateng after his unveiling to the media. Possessing an appreciable height and brave, Boateng can hold his own alongside the toughest of centre-backs, but rather than his physique, his guile and intelligent positioning enable him to outwit defenders. His uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time means he regularly finds scoring opportunities. 

Equally comfortable going for goal with either foot or with his head, and never afraid to miss, it is no surprise to see him become a mainstay at his new club. With skilful feet and a sharp football brain, he has excellent link-up play and can spot a pass. A willing grafter, he’s also not averse to working the flanks and has decent crossing ability.

He loves to contribute to the build-up around the penalty area rather than wait for the ball. Few gave him the chance to succeed but Boateng’s appetite for a big impact on elite-level football was not sated.”I have come this far by believing in God and my ability. I hope to do more than what I am currently doing. I’ll continue to learn and do more. I shall make all connected to my journey proud.”  He gushed. In the end, football shows us there are many roads to the top. We’ve seen countless cases of child prodigies who promised plenty but ultimately amounted to little. Similarly, we’ve seen the late bloomers who never quite made it in their pomp but came good in the latter years of their career.

Then there are the players who slip through the net altogether. What matters most is that you make it in the end. So while Kelvin Owusu Boateng doesn’t have the world talking about him just yet, if he continues in the same vein, it may not be long the world will hear of him. 

By: Godfred Budu Yeboah/Kickgh.com

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