Osei, The ‘Black Messi’

1.The senior national team, Black Stars, may have qualified for the Brazil 2014 World Cup, but the team’s attacking line still begs for fortification.

A horde of strikers have imaginably been thrown into the ‘equation’ – but the one who readily comes to mind is immediate past ‘net-breaker’ of Liberty Professionals – Mawuli Osei.

Today, Osei, who is known as the ‘Black Messi’ is incredibly the most-wanted striker in Israel football, banging home 13 goals in 11 games as of last Thursday.

The 24-year-old former Accra Great Olympics and BA Stars’ player was just a goal short of swagging away with the goal-king award for the league last season – after cracking home 19 goals in 36 games.

“I guess I couldn’t win that coronet because I did not feature in a couple of games. But I hope to make it this time around,” he told the Times Sports last Thursday from his Ashkelon base in Israel – shortly after grabbing a brace in a 3-1 win over Rishon Letzion.

That gutsy victory – which saw Osei grabbing the headlines again with a dazzling acrobatic second goal on the afternoon, fired Ashkelon to third spot on 22 points.

Club chairman Sharon Habazi describes Osei as “a player with amazing insight and purpose,” believing that the Ghanaian has what it takes to return the club to the top flight next season.

The club is currently playing in Liga Leumit (division one league), having experienced the drop in the 2010-11 season after finishing at the 15th spot.

Indeed, Osei – who is a virtual house-hold name in Israel, does not only score goals, but is the creative heart of Ashkelon’s sublime performance, and his depth, vision, balance and electrifying pace are simply impeccable.

Such is his consummate contribution to the game – ever since joining Ashkelon three months ago, that high-profile clubs in Israel including Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Tel Aviv are in a mad flight for his signature.

The latest to chase his talent is Scottish revered side Celtic FC, as other European clubs wait on the sidelines to pounce on him at the slightest opportunity.

It was a sheer beauty and wonder a fortnight ago to see Osei crash home half of the goals in his side’s 8-0 white-washing of Maccabi Umm Al Fahm. The ex-Liberty star began the away carnage as early as the third minute before making it 2-0 after 11 minutes. He scored two other goals in a two-minute blitz in the 54th and 56th minutes to add up to Al Fahm’s misery.

In view of the foregoing, Osei’s manager Michael Adjei, has called on the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the national team selectors to give the Ashkelon goal-poacher a chance to prove his mettle.

“I think he is in fine fettle and when given the chance, he would make full use of his potential.

“He is a sharp shooter, has speed, accuracy and power; and I guess he can be a great asset to the Black Stars if afforded the opportunity to prove his capability,” Adjei asserted. By John Vigah



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