Former Ghana International Derek Boateng has picked Ghana legend Abedi Pele, Nigeria’s Austin Jay Jay Okocha and former World best George Oppong Weah as his icons.
The three celebrated African Footballers are undoubtedly among the finest players the continent has ever produced.
Pele, won three Africa footballer of the year in successions and also clinched the UEFA Champions League title with French side Olympique Marseille.
Okocha, BBC Africa Footballer of the year in 2003 and 2004 also played a huge role for Nigeria helping the West Africans to win Summer Olympics in 1996.
Oppong Weah who is now President of Liberia remains the only African to have won the World best footballer award.
Boateng who played an important part in Ghana’s youth teams through to the senior level has idolized the three important figures.
“Abedi Pele was the man I was looking up to,” Boateng told Goal in an exclusive interview.
“He’s the player I have always looked up to. He’s done a lot for the nation. Even now when you go somewhere and say you are from Ghana, people still mention his name. For me, he’s a legend.
“Outside Ghana, I looked to Jay-Jay Okocha, another great player. But my [topmost] guy is Abedi Pele. I admired George Weah too.”
“I would say Abedi Pele [is the greatest African of all-time],” Boateng said.
“That’s what I believe and know and I would never change it. George Weah is among the top guys as he won the World Best Player award but for me, Abedi is the best.”
Derek Boateng represented Ghana at two FIFA World Cups in 2006 and 2010. He also played at the 2002, 2012 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.