I was lucky to play with Guardiola and Baggio - Stephen Appiah - Footy Dreams

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I was lucky to play with Guardiola and Baggio – Stephen Appiah

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Ghana legend Stephen Appiah says he enjoyed the best season of his illustrious playing career at Italian side Brescia as he had the opportunity to share the same dressing room with football greats, Pep Guardiola and Roberto Baggio.

The former Black Stars captain played for the club for one season, having joined them on loan from Parma in 2002. Appiah joined Parma from Udinese in 2000 but after two seasons, he was forced to move.

In an interview on Joy FM’s Sports Link Saturday, Appiah explained that he was loaned to Brescia because Parma appointed a new coach who decided to bring in new players.
He was disappointed with the decision because he did his best in the previous season to help Parma win the Italian Cup.

However, Appiah was determined to prove that the coach made a wrong decision to let him go and he did excel at Brescia.

Appiah, 22 at the time, scored seven goals in 31 appearances for the ‘small club’ Brescia, who finished in the top half of the table.

“In my career, I always say that Brescia was the best season… because Brescia was a small team but in 2002/03 season we did so well in the league as we placed sixth.

Brescia placing sixth in the league was so huge for the fans because that time looking at Juventus, AC Milan Inter Milan, Fiorentina and other big sides, nobody expected us to be in that position,” Appiah said.

“I was so lucky to play with [Pep] Guardiola and Roberto Baggio. That season I scored 8 goals because when you are playing with Guardiola and Baggo, they make things easier for you to put the ball at the back of the net as a midfielder.”

His impressive performance that season earned him a big move to Juventus. Appiah recounts that he was enjoying his summer break in Ghana when he received a call from Luciano Moggi (Juventus director between 1994 and 2006).

“I received a call from Luciano Moggi, a big man in Italian football. He asked me, Appiah, do you want to come to Juventus? I said yes I want to come to Juventus.”

Appiah spent two seasons at Juventus and helped them win the Italian Cup before moving to Fernabache in Turkey. He returned to Italy to play for Bologna and Cesena before retiring.


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