Home / SPORTS / Why Abedi Ayew was called ‘Africa Maradona’ despite Pele tag – Popular historian reveals

Why Abedi Ayew was called ‘Africa Maradona’ despite Pele tag – Popular historian reveals

Popular Ghanaian historian, Yaw Anokye Frimpong, has revealed why Ghanaian football icon Abedi Ayew Pele also had the nickname ‘Africa Maradona’.

During his prime, Abedi earned numerous nicknames for his distinct and effective football skills, including dribbling, scoring and passing.

One of the few people who had the chance to follow Abedi’s career is historian Yaw Anokye Frimpong, who has shed light on how Abedi Ayew got the name Pele and Africa Maradona.

Speaking in an interview with Kafui Dei, the historian revealed that when the young Abedi burst onto the football scene, his characteristics and attributes as a nimble-footed player earned him the name Abedi Pele.

Abedi, he says, reminded fans of Edson Arantes do Nascimento [World Pele] so much that they nicknamed him after the Brazilian football legend.

Just like World Pele, who won the World Cup on his first appearance at age 18, Abedi also won the AFCON title on his first appearance at age 18.

However, some fans, according to Yaw Anokye Frimpong, realized that Abedi embodied some aggressive attributes like the Argentine football great, Maradona, hence they nicknamed him the Africa Maradona.

“He was a dribbling magician and so aggressive. World Pele was a great footballer but was not as aggressive as Maradona. That is why Abedi, even though he was named after Pele, also had the accolade of Africa Maradona because of his aggressiveness. Also for his goal-scoring prowess from acute and unassuming angles,” he said.

Abedi Pele was one of Ghana’s biggest football exports abroad, becoming the first Ghanaian to win the UEFA Champions League and winning the African Player of the Year thrice.

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