In our first exclusive interview, Sandals For Goalposts had the opportunity to dish a few questions to David Appiah, a 17 year-old attacking midfielder currently plying his trade with modest Parma in Serie A, about life in Italy, the differences between Italian and Ghanaian football, the promising state of the Ghana national team and plenty more:
Tell us a little about your career so far. Which team did you play for back in Ghana and how did you get to Parma?
Back in Ghana, football was not so much of a big deal due to schooling. My Dad was very hard on my academia, so I never really had the chance to play for any club, just played for the school team and trained with a local club called Liberty. By the grace of God, I was spotted by a Ghanaian agent who gave me the opportunity to go for trials in Italy.
Tell us about the type of player you are. What are your strengths? Which footballers have you been compared to?
I am an offensive midfielder, basically a distributor, most websites and the Ghanaian media have linked me to ex-Ghana skipper Stephen Appiah, not basically because of the style of play but due to the name we bear: “Appiah”.
How have you adapted to life in Italy; can you speak Italian? Do you eat Italian food?
Been in Italy for a very long time, it wasn’t easy at the start but, by the grace of God, I’ve adapted very well and, yes, I speak Italian and I do eat Italian food – you have no option once you’re there.
How is the football you play in Italy different from the type of football you played in Ghana?
Football is more tactical in Italy as compared to Ghana, in Ghana it’s more physical.
Your friend Afriyie Acquah has recently joined Parma, did you know about this move before it happened and how do you feel about it?
I got a call about 2 nights ago when a friend told me Acquah has joined Parma, it was nice to hear that. I’m happy they have made a good signing, Acquah is a really good player and very strong in the midfield, we spent some of the vacation together in Ghana so I’m happy he’s there now.
There is a large amount of Ghanaian players plying their trade in Italy. Do you ever arrange to meet up?
Funnily, we all know ourselves, getting to the end of the season we meet up and have a laugh, and even during the season almost every night we Skype one another and create jokes. We’re all one big family – [Boadu Maxwell] Acosty of Fiorentina, [Richmond] Boakye of Juventus , Acquah, and so on…
How do you view racism in Italy compared to other European Countries and do you have any personal experiences of racism?
I, by the grace of God, have not come across that, I can say racism in Italy is really coming down, there are less stories of that as compared to years ago.
Ghana have a rich amount of talent coming through, as symbolised by their U-20 World Cup win in 2009, how far can this promising Ghana team go?
I’m even scared of the pace at which Ghanaian players develop, I’m most certain this age of Ghanaian football is going to do really well in all competitions, Ghana have a really strong youth team, I can see the team going really far .
Can you relate to Mario Balotelli at all and do you see him as a positive or negative role model?
Mario has his style, I have mine. I am sure other players idolise him, I personally have a different role model, but Mario is a good player.
Favourite footballer and why?
Miguel Veloso of Dynamo Kiev (who was at Genoa). I love the Portuguese midfielder, he has very good vision of the game, has a very friendly off-pitch character too.
What are your targets for the future?
For the future, well that lies in the hands of the Lord. I am still a really young player and have more years in front of me, so I’m sure my agent and my club will know where my future will be. I am in good shape as of now, so focusing now on the upcoming season and hopefully another National team call up. So far so good, by the grace of God. Thank you.