Former Black Stars skipper Stephen Appiah has revealed how being patriotic and deciding to represent Ghana at the 2004 Olympic Games contributed to his short spell at Juventus.
Mr Appiah made the revelation on Saturday’s Joy Sports Link on Joy FM with Nathaniel Attoh. According to Appiah, Juventus tried to convince him not to go for the games but he snubbed.
The 39-year-old signed for Juventus in 2003 after impressing greatly in the previous season with Brescia.
“I got an invitation from the FA [Ghana Football Association] that I have to go to the Olympics. When the letter arrived at Juventus, they didn’t want me to go because the league [Serie A] was about to start. The league was starting August 8 and I was supposed to report to Ghana camp in Athens on August 4,” Appiah narrated.
“So Luciano Moggi [director] Roberto Bettega [vice chairman of the board of directors], and lawyer invited me to their office and started convincing me to turn down the invitation.
I asked that I would go and think about it. I asked for two days but Moggi said he wanted the answer the next day.”
He further explained that: “the next day I gathered confidence, went to the office and told three of them that I love Juventus, they gave me platform but one thing that I can say is whatever I do my country comes first so I want to go to Athens. I went to Athens came back and that was the end of Juventus.”
After the tournament, Appiah failed to get regular playing time and had no option than to leave the club.
He was transferred to Turkish side Fenerbahçe in 2005. Appiah made a name for himself at the club and he is highly regarded by the fans.