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Sports News of Saturday, 27 June 2020


Odartey Lamptey reveals why he moved to China to play football

1991 FIFA U-17 World Cup winner, Nii Odartey Lamptey 1991 FIFA U-17 World Cup winner, Nii Odartey Lamptey

Nii Odartey Lamptey was instrumental in Ghana winning the U-17 World Cup in 1991.

He won the Adidas Golden Ball award and shared the top scorer spot with Brazil's Adriano.

Pele once suggested that Lamptey was his “natural successor” after watching young Odartey play in 1989. One of the countries he played football during his professional career was China and he revealed the reason behind his decision to go there.

“When I was initially contacted about a move to China, I talked to Otto Pfister about it and he discouraged me but my contact was insistent on the move and I ultimately decided to go there to train. I was very surprised when I arrived in China. The facilities were awesome and I decided not to return and they prepared a contract for me to sign,"

"People were criticizing me about the China deal but the facilities were good, the money was good and you can see that players are moving there now. I was there for three years. When I went to my team in China, they are 4th from last. In the first season, we achieved top four. In the second season, we placed second. I was very happy. Germany was on and off for me. I was finding it difficult in Germany,” he added.

“Chinese football is very good. They are not as low as you see it. When you are only skillful and you don’t have pace, you cannot play in China. Until you have those two things, you can’t make it there. It is a very tough league. If you want to play at the highest level, I wouldn’t advise you to start your professional career in China. You can end your career there but don’t start there. You can make money there,” he told Joy FM.