Former Ghanaian international Nii Odartey Lamptey says that being dubbed the next “Pele” placed so much pressure on him to succeed as a footballer.
Odartey Lamptey burst onto the scene as a 14-year-old at the 1989 FIFA U-16 World Championship in Scotland. Brazilian great Pele who was at the Stadium in the first game against host nation Scotland hailed the tricky and explosive midfielder as his natural successor.
Two years later at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Italy, Lamptey helped Ghana to win the title, he won the Golden Ball and scored four goals in the process.
He from then stamped his authority on the next Pele tag. Lamptey was tipped for greatness but the unprecedented happed as Lamptey failed to fulfil his potential.
Speaking in an interview with Starr FM, Lamptey revealed that being labeled the next Pele placed so much pressure on him.
“I must admit Pele’s tag gave me a lot of pressure but well it was a great honor but as I said when you are going to any team at that time, a lot was on my shoulders,’ he told Starr FM.
“It just wasn’t easy to be the next Pele within a year or two,” Odartey added.
Odartey Lamptey during his career played for 13 clubs, he retired in 2008.