Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|May 30, 2022|3 Minutes|In Editor's Desk

Editor’s Desk

European Triumph – African Blues.

You can be sure Michel Essien, the ball wizard of Ghana, punched the air on Saturday night after Real Madrids record-breaking European triumph.Real Madrid won the Champions League for a record 14th time by stamping their authority on Liverpool in Paris with a 1-0 win.

Essien, who now coaches in the Danish Premier League, would have been overjoyed. He played at Real in a loan spell in his Chelsea days Footballers are like that they never forget the clubs they played for especially if they scored a couple of goals for them as did the ace from Accra.

Not just he, there would have been a very talented group of African footballers celebrating the triumph of Real Madrid on Saturday night .

Emmanuel Adebayor – from Togo – played 22 games for Real Madrid in 2011 on the way to glory at Tottenham Hotspur.

Nigerian Mutiu Adepoju joined the whites as far back as 1989. Mahamadou Diarra, from Mali, joined to help Real Madrid end its four-year trophy drought and stayed to play 126 games. Geremi of Cameroon, had a long spell at the club and scored the winning goal for it in the final of the Club World Championship back in 2000.

Fellow Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o signed for Real Madrid when he was 16 and came up through the ranks to become one of the world’s best known African players.

Now many of you  entrepreneurs  out there are thinking good for them – rare African talent reaping the rewards of the world game and showing the world that the continent can produce the very best.

Think again. I still think this sucking of talent from the southern to the northern hemisphere is beggaring the game in Africa. The finest African players are leaving the continent and Africa is struggling to find money to run its game.

I  remember, not too many years ago, doing a story on Hearts of Oak in  Accra Ghana – one of the legendary teams of African football. I was shocked to see the training on rough ground with few facilities – that is part of the price of the rich clubs in the northern hemisphere taking everything. It all gets forgotten in the euphoria around the Champions League final, but I fear for the future of the African game.