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Sports News of Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Source: goal.com

Life without a father; Ghana's Ati Zigi shares experience

Ghanaian goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi Ghanaian goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi

Ghanaian goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi how hard life has been without his dad, who died eleven years back.

The 23 years old is having a wonderful season at St.Gallen and has been taking a look back at how life would have been with his dad around.

"It was hard when father died, but God helped me to cope with it."

As a sign of his belief, the goalie wears a chain with a silver cross around his neck. God is the center of his life, he says.

In an article published by tagblatt.ch, the Ghanaian talked about his early life in Ghana.

It was a coincidence that he became a goalie. No one had wanted to stand in the goal as part of their childhood team. So Zigi complied with the circumstances, soon triumphed once and brought the clubs to attention. He moved to the Red Bull Academy in Sogakope in southern Ghana, seven years ago he followed the call from Austria.

Zigi does not hide the fact that he misses the family. He maintains contact via Skype or phone. However, relatives cannot visit him because they are subject to a visa. "It would be very complicated, even for a few days," says the footballer, who speaks three languages ??and five Ghanaian dialects. The goalkeeper doesn't feel lonely in St.Gallen. He has known team-mate Musah Nuhu for a long time from times spent together in the national team. And about coach Zeidler, Zigi says: "He is like a father to me."

Lawrence Ati Zigi only needed five games to become a crowd favorite in St.Gallen. But the run is interrupted.

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Lawrence Ati Zigi is a good draftsman. As a child he often used colored pencils. The goalkeeper paints landscapes, people and animals. "Simply everything," says the Ghanaian. Drawing is a soothing hobby. It forms a counterpoint to the stirring, crazy days that the 23-year-old has lived through in St.Gallen so far.

Actually Zigi and his teammates wanted to continue after the emotional 3: 3 against the Young Boys, march on and keep the league in suspense. But because of the ban on major events due to the Corona virus, the championship is interrupted.

If the decision is not revoked on March 15, Zigi will be in a serious fight for St. Gallen at the beginning of April at the earliest. Of course, the compulsory break is not convenient for the strong-looking Eastern Swiss. "It is a shame that we cannot prove ourselves again right away," says the five-time Ghanaian international.

Centimeters were missing and Zigi would have been the hero Almost two weeks have passed since the game against the Young Boys. It was only inches away and Zigi would have been the hero of the afternoon. He would have been celebrated because he would have saved FC St.Gallen's 3-2 victory against the champions in injury time in the Tollhaus Kybunpark.

Perhaps the teammates would have taken him on the shoulders and carried him across the lawn. But because the video referee of the euphoria pulled the plug, the game ended in a draw.

FC St.Gallen is also a leader during the forced break, from the top games against Basel, Servette and the Young Boys, he scored seven points. Zigi contributed a lot to this stability. The African was a strong support right from the start and quickly became the crowd favorite thanks to some spectacular bailouts. Otto Pfister, who has worked in more than ten countries on the African continent, is not surprised at Zigi's development.

"I knew that if you took good care of him, it would be a really good thing." One of the strengths of African footballers is that they don't get anything upset - neither a defeat nor a goal. "They never freak out because they are mentally strong," said the 82-year-old. They also have an innate feeling for the situation. "One of their strengths is anticipation," says Pfister, who led the Ghana national team to the 1992 African Cup final.

Before the start of the second half of the season, they were worried that changing the goalie in a short break can be a delicate matter. After Dejan Stojanovic informed St.Gallen's manager at the training camp in Spain that he would accept the offer from Middlesbrough, the situation deteriorated because both Jonathan Klinsmann and Nico Strübi were injured.

But sports director Alain Sutter and trainer Peter Zeidler had an ace up their sleeve, Zigi had been on her note for a long time. Nevertheless, they left the final assessment to goalie coach Stefano Razzetti. Razzetti watched three goalkeepers on video and said after studying Zigi:

"The one and no one else."

The father died when Zigi was twelve

Sutter and Zeidler saw themselves confirmed. Because especially the trainer is considered a long-term sponsor of the 1.89 m tall goalie. On his recommendation, Red Bull brought the young Ghanaian to Austria seven years ago, where he was first integrated into a youth academy of the beverage giant and later played under Zeidler for the Liefering partner club in the second-highest league. The goalkeeper also followed Zeidler to Salzburg and Sochaux.

Zigi comes from medium-sized companies. "We had a good time." When he was twelve, however, the family suffered a stroke of fate. The father died at the age of 44 from a serious illness. Zigi grew up with his mother and grandmother and with two sisters. But the Christian faith is deeply rooted in the family. The footballer says:

"It was hard when father died, but God helped me to cope with it." As a sign of his belief, the goalie wears a chain with a silver cross around his neck. God is the center of his life, he says.

It was a coincidence that he became a goalie. No one had wanted to stand in the goal as part of their childhood team. So Zigi complied with the circumstances, soon triumphed once and brought the clubs to attention. He moved to the Red Bull Academy in Sogakope in southern Ghana, seven years ago he followed the call from Austria.

For Zigi, Zeidler is like a father

Zigi does not hide the fact that he misses the family. He maintains contact via Skype or phone. However, relatives cannot visit him because they are subject to a visa. "It would be very complicated, even for a few days," says the footballer, who speaks three languages ??and five Ghanaian dialects. The goalkeeper doesn't feel lonely in St.Gallen. He has known team-mate Musah Nuhu for a long time from times spent together in the national team. And about coach Zeidler, Zigi says: "He is like a father to me."

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