With just 34 games for the Ghana team, but an already recognized career in Europe, Thomas Partey is one of the African figures who will be at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, being a benchmark for his national team, however, the current player Arsenal went through an adventure to reach professional football.
The 28 – year – old midfielder sealed the Black Stars ‘ place in the World Cup thanks to his goal against Nigeria in the second leg of the third round of the CAF qualifiers.
Now, with a difficult group in this year’s fair, the former Atlético de Madrid player will lead a team that knows what it’s like to play a fifth match in the most important football event.
Originally from Odumase Krobo, Partey had his first steps in football thanks to his father, who was in charge of a small team, but also the man who promoted it, as he himself recalled in an interview with BBC Sports.
“I started in a small town where my father was the team manager. He made many sacrifices that he never told me about. It was he who sold his things to try to get balls,”
In the midst of a hostile environment in his country, where the means to survive sometimes exceed legality, Thomas lost his fear of dangerous crossings, a reason that led him to travel in search of a cradle in football. After several years showing talent, he received an opportunity from a player’s agent who promised him a place in Spanish soccer if he decided to move to that nation almost immediately. Barely 18 years old, the skillful midfielder left Ghanaian soil without the consent of his parents and without notice of the adventure he would undertake.
One day in 2011, taking advantage of the absence of his family at home, Thomas “got into” a car to get to Accra, the Ghanaian capital, from where he was taken to Spanish lands to settle in Madrid. “My father was not at home, no one in my family knew anything about me, or that I was leaving that day because if I told someone there would be many problems. So I traveled and arrived in Spain six or seven months before someone found out that he was out of Ghana,” he recalled in an interview with Marca.
The element of the Gunners began trying his luck with the lower forces of Leganés and after showing his ability on the pitch, he joined the Colchonero team to have activity with his youth teams. Previously, his family was already aware of how he decided to leave home to start his professional career.
“My father has always accepted my decisions, so he didn’t say anything to me. The following month he sent me money to buy boots. I always go where I feel good, and that’s why I made the decision to travel without saying anything to anyone,” he said.
After overcoming moments of uncertainty when he arrived in Spain and earning a place in football on the old continent, Thomas Partey leads a generation from Ghana who will want to make history at Qatar 2022.