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Abedi Pele - Africa’s hero
Super Contributor

Meet Abedi Pele, he is a humble, quiet man who has achieved much in his life. He has made his country and his continent proud and is a true inspiration to the world of football. His love for soccer has never died; he knows the game, the fans and the culture.

Ghana born Abedi Pele is famous and loved for his skill, dedication and hard work on the soccer field. He has come a far way and has a soccer career to boast about, he has played all over the world and is an African football legend.

2009 has brought Abedi Pele, the AFCON Trophy and the passion and love of soccer to the people of Africa. He was chosen by Standard Bank to be the ambassador of the AFCON trophy tour.

Abedi Pele and the AFCON Trophy tour
“This year’s trophy tour was very well organised. Standard Bank has really raised the bar, as all the ingredients for success were present,” says Abedi.

He was deeply honoured when Standard Bank chose him as the AFCON trophy tour ambassador and says one of the biggest highlights of the tour was spending time on the African continent and bringing the tour to his people. He was fortunate to interact with Africa’s soccer fans.

“I feel close to the African fans. This is there moment, the trophy belongs to them,” he says.

The trophy tour was arranged to create awareness around the AFCON tournament. This tour has taken Abedi Pele across Africa where he has dined with royalty, presidents and other influential people. He has connected with crowds of 10 000’s, enabling the masses to engage and interact with the trophy.

Abedi Pele and soccer success
Learning to lose gracefully was Abedi’s biggest lesson on the soccer pitch. “When people think of playing soccer, they only think about winning and being successful. No one ever thinks that you will also have to shake the hands of the opponents who have just kicked you out of a tournament.”

Patience and respect are other valuable lessons that Abedi learnt from his experiences both on and off the field. “You need to learn and acknowledge all these traits to grow and become a better player and ordinary person in society.”

This soccer super star has had a few great moments that have remained a special highlight in his life. The first event that comes to mind was when he played for the winning team during the AFCON tournament in 1982, he was just 17. Another great moment was when his team, Olympique de Marseille won the Champions league in 1993.

Abedi’s take on African football
Abedi says the standard of African football has grown rapidly. “The image of African football has been raised, especially after the under 21 Ghana team beat Brazil.

“Africa has what it takes, both mentally and physically. With the World cup around the corner, African teams now have the opportunity to show the world that they are efficient and as good as any other country. We’ve worked hard to get to this point; we didn’t receive anything on a silver platter. I hope an African country goes to the final.”

Abedi Pele and the World Cup
“I have never played in the World Cup, but being part of the bidding team was as good as playing and winning this tournament. I am so happy I had a chance to say a speech and help bring the World Cup to Africa.”