North East United FC striker, Asamoah Gyan has disclosed that he chose to play in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations [AFCON] instead of signing for Manchester City.
Ghana hosted the rest of the African continent during the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
However, Gyan was constantly criticized for his output during the tournament after a huge performance with Udinese in the Italian Serie A.
The 34-year-old speaking to Pulse Ghana revealed that he sacrificed a lot to represent Ghana in the 2008 continental showpiece so he felt unfairly treated and got hurt over criticisms from the Ghanaian sports-loving fans.
“I sacrificed for the nation. I should have been out of the tournament, but I felt that because of the love I have for the country I decided to come because I had a contract to sign for Manchester City, but I ignored the contract. I remember my agent told me I should boycott the Africa Cup of Nations and go for rehab and go and sign the contract.
“At that time I didn’t feel any criticism, starting from the colts level it was like I was being pampered until that time. I didn’t know anything about criticism until that time.
“I felt like the criticism was unfair to me because they criticized me and I think it was personal in a game that we won, which Ghanaian were expecting like 10-0. People didn’t understand what was going on at that time, so I thought I was treated unfairly.
“My mother called me and she was crying. I felt it wasn’t the right time to do that in the middle of the tournament and I felt that the whole nation was against me and at that tender age, I was like 20 years, so I felt that the whole nation was against me.
“But I told him the tournament was very important to me because Ghana was hosting it and I missed the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations and that (2008) would have been my first Africa Cup of Nations and Ghana was hosting, so there was a lot of things going through my mind so that was why I got hurt and I decided to just let it go.
Asamoah Gyan was heavily criticised by a section of Ghanaian sports-loving for living below expectation during the tournament
He threatened to walk out of the camp of the Black Stars, but the President of the Republic of Ghana at the time John Agyekum Kuffour intervened and he rescinded his decision.
Asamoah Gyan has played at seven Africa Cup of Nations and has scored eight goals in the process for the Black Stars. The former Sunderland striker is Ghana’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals.