Gerald Asamoah became the first African-born footballer to play for Germany after he made his debut for Die Mannschaft in an international friendly against Slovakia in 2001. He scored on his debut.
Asamoah went on to make over 40 appearances for Germany featuring in two World Cups, 2002 and 2006.
He played as a striker and was known for his pace and strength.
Reminiscing his first World Cup experience, Asamoah indicated that people were shocked to see him (an African) play for Germany.
“My first world cup in Japan-Korea, I was sitting on the bench and a photographer said, ‘what are you doing here?'”
“And I told him I am a player, and he said: ‘You are a German? That’s crazy!'” he told DW Sports.
According to him, people didn’t believe that a Black person could play for Germany.
He, however, indicated that playing for Germany was one of the best decisions he has ever made, adding that his decision has inspired a lot of Black footballers to play for Germany.
“Now you can see how many Blacks play for the German team.”
“I never knew it was so hard. But after I took this decision, Black people supported me, and I’m proud of doing that,” Asamoah said.
Asamoah was on born October 3, 1978 in Mampong in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. He later moved to Germany with his family in 1990.
Asamoah started his career with Hannover 96 before moving to Schalke in 1999 where he played over 200 games.
He also played for other German clubs including St. Pauli, VfB Hüls, SpVgg Greuther Fürth.
He scored a total of 104 goals in 526 appearances for all the clubs he played for.
Asamoah was diagnosed with hypertrophic non-obstructive cardiomyopathy in 1998, and that propelled him to establish his heart foundation in 2007 called Gerald Asamoah Foundation for Children with Heart Conditions.
Despite featuring for Germany at international level, Asamoah has not lost track of his Ghanaian roots. His dream is to build a Cardiac Hospital in Ghana to treat cardiac related problems.
“In 1998, Doctors told me I can’t play football again. I sat out for three months, underwent treatment and enjoyed my career later. My dream is to build a Cardiac Hospital to treat such problems since it is very expensive,” he told the Ghana News Agency.
Asamoah is married and has two children, twins Jada and Jaden.
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