02 June, 2006
AMOAH Matthew from Ghana.Employed as a central striker, he says he prefers to play behind the front two, where he feels he is more involved in the game. Come June in Germany, however, he will no doubt be happy to play wherever.
Name: AMOAH Matthew
Date of birth: 24 October 1980
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 66 kg
Current Club: Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Int'l Goals: 7 (as of 30-May-2006)
Int'l Caps: 15 (as of 30-May-2006)
First Int'l Cap: Ghana v. Morocco (21-Jan-2002)
Detail: The fact Matthew Amoah moved from his homeland to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem at the age of 16 has ensured him a near-anonymous profile in Ghana, where has never played top-flight football.
However, in his hometown of Tema his achievements in Europe have not gone unnoticed. With his three brothers, Amoah learned his craft on the streets of the Ghanaian town and at the age of 15 was spotted by scouts from the Netherlands while playing in an international youth tournament for Great Ambassadors.
Vitesse proved the perfect stage for Amoah’s quick promotion to the senior ranks, their solid youth policy ensuring him the chance to step up. On the road to regular first-team football, Amoah had a loan spell at Fortuna Sittard to help him find his feet in Dutch football, before he returned to Arnhem where coach Ronald Koeman gave him his opportunity.
The Vitesse supporters named him their Player of the Season in 2002/2003, a campaign where he scored 15 league goals for the club and also competed in Europe. The next season, however, a serious knee injury left Amoah sidelined and led, on his return, to a loss of form and confidence. He was jeered by home fans and there was much speculation about his future but in 2004/05 he rediscovered his shooting boots, netting 13 league goals. He already had another nine to his name by January this year when he left Vitesse for German club Borussia Dortmund.
Amoah received his first international call-up ahead of the 2002 CAF African Cup of Nations and it was during that tournament in Mali that he made his debut. However, after the Black Stars were eliminated in the quarter-finals, Amoah received just one more call-up before the appointment of the Serbian coach Ratomir Dujkovic in December 2004.
He brought Amoah back for his first game in charge in April last year and the striker quickly returned the favour with five goals as Ghana secured their first ever qualification for the FIFA World Cup™ finals.
Often employed as a central striker, he says he prefers to play behind the front two, where he feels he is more involved in the game. Come June in Germany, however, he will no doubt be happy to play wherever.