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John Paintsil: Former defender narrates journey from near-homeless to football stardom

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SPT_GCK_290311_International football Wembley, England V Ghana, Picture Graham Chadwick Ghana John Pantsil after late ghana equaliser 1-1

Former Ghanaian football star John Paintsil has shared a compelling personal story of resilience, detailing the challenges he faced before achieving fame and success in his football career.

Paintsil highlighted a particularly challenging experience during his early days, emphasising how determination and perseverance were crucial to overcoming adversity.

“I knew no one in Accra and only heard about Accra New Town. I had only one destination in my bag when I picked up my bag and that was Accra New Town,” Paintsil shared in an interview with Angel TV while recalling an instance where he received a call-up to the national under-20 team and travelled to Accra for a trial.

Struggling to find a place to stay, Paintsil improvised by choosing a lotto kiosk as his temporary abode. For two weeks, he jogged between New Town and Accra Sports Stadium, surviving on gari without sugar. Despite the challenges, he remained determined and pressed on toward his dreams.

“When the final list came and I made the list, I couldn’t hold back my tears. I wasn’t bathing because I couldn’t. If I wasn’t determined and had no plan, I would have given up. There were times I wanted to give up but I thought of my dreams and decided to press on,” Paintsil recounted.

From his humble beginnings, Paintsil went on to have a remarkable football career, participating in two World Cup tournaments for Ghana, featuring in AFCON tournaments, and playing for esteemed clubs like Fulham, Leicester, and West Ham.

He made 89 appearances for the Black Stars making him the fifth most caped player for Ghana.

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