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Sports News of Wednesday, 27 May 2020


I was overwhelmed by Pele’s praise - Odartey Lamptey

Former Ghana international Nii Odartey Lamptey Former Ghana international Nii Odartey Lamptey

Former Ghana attacking midfielder, Nii Odartey Lamptey has admitted that he failed to live up to the expectation of Edson Arantes Do Nascimento popularly known as Pele because his shoes were too heavy for him to wear.

Pele touted Nii Odartey Lamptey as the next Pele when he was still a teenager because of the promise he showed.

The former Anderlecht player says he failed to live up to Pele’s prediction because the shoes of the three times FIFA World Cup winner wear too heavy to wear.

“In our first match in the Scotland tournament, we played against the host nation in the presence of Brazilian Pele who picked me as the best player and then declared afterwards that I was a bright star likely to step into his big shoes,” Lamptey recalls three decades on in an interview with the Daily Graphic.

“Pele gave me the hype in 1989 when I was only 16 and in the teams I joined perhaps they were expecting so much from me just as Pele did. I never saw him play, but later I watched his videos and realised that he had so much quality so there was no way I could have fit into his big shoes. Perhaps in 1989, he saw something very unique about me so it was a privilege for him to say such good things about me.”

“I was already a professional player at the 1991 FIFA Under-17 tournament which we won and I was selected as the Overall Best Player and the joint winner of the Golden Boot award with five goals. So at a tender age, there was so much expected of me.”he concluded.