Ghana legend Stephen Appiah has disclosed that he found it tough when leaving Hearts of Oak to Italy during his formative years.
Appiah left the Phobians to join Italian side Udinese in 1997, two years after starring for Ghana at the FIFA U-17 in Ecuador.
The now retired footballer enjoyed an illustrious career in Italy, playing for Parma, Brescia and Juventus before moving to Turkey to join Fenerbahce.
According to Appiah, departing the Rainbow club to join Udinese was a tough decision for him as he enjoyed the recognition he was getting at the club.
“It was very difficult because at that time I was playing very well for Accra Hearts of Oak. I remember we played a game with GAPOHA at the Tema Sports Stadium, so after the game, I saw this white man with Nii Ayi Bonte. Nii Ayi Bonte called me and told me that I had to go to Italy because the man thinks I’m a good player so he wants to take me for trials in Italy,” Appiah told KOD on Instagram.
Appiah continued, “I said no I don’t want to go because I was enjoying the hype. I was doing so well that every Sunday when I play games, the next day I go to UTC in Accra and I deliberately walk towards WATO.”
“People will be calling and be giving me iron, come and take 20 cedis, so I was enjoying that moment so I didn’t want to go to Italy but in the end, I travelled.”
Appiah won the 1996 FA Cup and the 1997 Ghana Premier League trophy with Hearts of Oak before leaving for Europe.