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Sports News of Tuesday, 27 February 2018


Mohammed Polo was better than Lionel Messi - Coach J.E Sarpong

If you ever felt Lionel Messi is the greatest dribbler of all times, you will be disappointed because veteran Ghanaian trainer JE Sarpong believes former Ghana winger Mohammed Polo was exceptional.

To the former Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak coach, Messi is undoubtedly a great player but the exploits of Mohammed Polo were exceptional.

Coach Sarpong who has coach virtually every Ghanaian football national team and had coached hundreds of players believes the qualities of the Argentine super star comes nowhere near the Ghana legend Polo.

Coach Sarpong argues that, had Polo – widely referred to as the ‘Dribbling Magician’ – played in Europe, the world would have had his name in the history books.

Polo is regarded as one of the most technically gifted players to ever emerge from Africa and was a member of the Black Stars squad that cruised to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in 1978.

“I can confidently tell you that Mohammed Ahmed Polo is better than Lionel Messi,” he told Accra FM.

“Even though there was no technology in Polo’s era to determine an offside as compared to today, with the way he [Mohammed Polo] was playing, no player could have been compared to him if he should have played in Europe.”

According to the former Ebusua Dwarfs boss, Polo “played mostly in Africa in his days and so the world couldn’t see him properly.

“No doubt that Messi is a good player but comparatively, Polo is better than Messi.”

The legendary Polo played for Hearts of Oak and Great Olympics, before moving to North Africa and Asia in the twilight of his career.

The intelligence of the 61-year-old, coupled with his swift dribbling abilities and wonderful technical qualities, made him a toast of many football fans during the 1970s, despite never playing in Europe.

Despite being 61, a glimpse of Polo’s touches and control plus his passing are enough to explain who he was at the twilight of his career.

Polo himself, in 2011, claimed he was a better player than Lionel Messi.