He’s known for his power on the pitch. But, now a champion footballer from Ghana is finding new footing. He’s still in the sport, but he’s playing a different role.
CGTN’s Al Goodman reports.
Baba Sule is back where he always wanted to be — on the football pitch.
His days as a player are over, for the national team of his native Ghana and for Spanish clubs like Real Madrid and Mallorca.
But he’s got a new life on the field, as the kit man — equipment manager — for Fuenlabrada Football Club. It’s a Spanish third division team from a working class suburb of Madrid.
“On the pitch of football, it’s a place I’ve been, I’ve been playing, so I’ve been on the field for so many years, and now, it’s sort of on the field and the dressing room,” said Sule.
Now, he’s dressing the current players, tending to their jerseys and the rest of their gear. A former football star, he’s now an organizational man of details.
His glory days occurred as a midfielder, scoring the first goal in the Under-17 World Cup when modest Ghana beat mighty Brazil back in 1995.
“I always think about that moment. History cannot be forgotten and victory against Brazil will always be remembered,” said Sule.
Later, Real Madrid signed him for its youth division, but he never played. Illnesses and injuries cut short his career – a broken right arm with Mallorca and torn left ligaments and knee problems for Leganes.
“I don’t regret what has happened to me. I take it as part of football,” said Sule.
At age 39, Sule already has had a long history with football, on the field and off. But he said what he’s most interested in now is his future in football.
“I’m doing some courses, I’m doing coaching courses. Maybe in the future I would like to help children, African or any part of the world, to have some skills, I mean to develop something from football,” said Sule.
His 10-year -old son in Spain plays football.
Sule has done various jobs off the pitch, as a chauffeur, even working at a department store. But for him, none has had the kick of football.