• The former Black Stars captain played 48 games for the Bianconeris
• Ghana competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece from 13 to 29 August 2004
Former Black Stars captain, Stephen Appiah, has lifted the lid on why his career with European football giants Juventus ended.
Stephen Appiah in 2003 joined the Old Ladies of Serie A(Juventus) from Parma after excelling on his loan move to Brescia Calcio.
However, the former Accra Hearts of Oak midfielder's career ended in the summer of 2005 when he joined Turkish Super Lig giant Fenerbache after making 48 appearances and scoring three in the process.
16 years on after leaving Juventus, Appiah has revealed that choosing to represent Ghana in the 2004 Olympics Games in Athens cost him his career with the Old Ladies.
The Ghana legend stated that Juventus didn't want him to go for the tournament but he chose his country like he always did in his entire football career.
Read Stephen Appiah's narration on why he left Juventus in an interview with EMY Africa magazine below:
"I was told the club had received a letter from Ghana. Even before I went in, I knew that it was about the Olympic Games. I went into the Sporting Director’s office only to see three men; Luciano Moggi – Juventus Director of Football, Geraldo, the club’s lawyer, and the legendary Roberto Bettega himself. Without even asking whether I wanted to go or not, they explained at length how much they needed me.
They suggested I stayed and not represent my country at the Olympics. I asked for time to think about it and decide. They gave me three days.
I had previously spoken to some teammates who had been to the Olympics and what they described was unmissable. Beyond the immeasurable sense of pride of representing your country at the multi-sports event, it was a festival. The description of the Games village, getting to see other world-class athletes up close and inaction was indescribable, they said. This was better than the World Cup.
So I had to be there. And on a personal note, I had played at the FIFA U-17 World Cup once, twice at the U-20 but never at the Olympics. This was my chance. And as a matter of principle, only injuries or suspensions could stop me from representing my country. That’s non-negotiable’’ Appiah concluded.
People don’t know Moggi. Not even the investigators. He was the most powerful man at the time. Look, he was even more powerful than Sepp Blatter – then FIFA President. He did things even Blatter wouldn’t dare do. Milan and Inter were our biggest threats at the time.
Lazio and Roma were good, but they didn’t have any pedigree. So Milan and Inter. Yet, Moggi could influence our rivals and their matches. It could be through their opponents, refs.
I mean the Calciopoli lifted the lid on some of that. But that was only as much as Moggi allowed. The world knows only as much as Moggi allowed to be known about Moggi.
I know they valued me. I was one of the more talented midfielders there. But this is Juventus where there are always options’’. He added.
I don’t know where that came from. Juve knows I asked permission and Moggi and Capello allowed me to go. They did so hesitantly, but they gave me written permission to go," he narrated.
Read Full Story