Ghana men’s national team captain Asamoah Gyan currently plays for UAE Pro-League club Al Ain FC. Prior to that, Gyan’s footprints can be found at Sunderland, Rennes, Modena, and Udinese. That’s not the typical club resume of a man who lands on a most entertaining players list. But Baby Jet isn’t your typical player.
More than anybody, Baby Jet is probably better described as an experience. He’s typically touted as the heartbeat of the locker room and often his team. That much was clear during the 2010 World Cup, when he catapulted himself into global consciousness on a crisp evening in Johannesburg. That game, the one in the dying minutes of extra time in the quarterfinal against Uruguay. That moment, after Luis Suarez’s handball prevented a sure goal, when he confidently stepped up to take the penalty that would have made Ghana Africa’s first World Cup semifinalist. He hit the crossbar and immediately covered his face with his hands. Then Gyan wanted the ball again. He needed it. He wanted to take the first shot when the game went to penalties. Gyan scored. Ghana still lost.
But he came back. He has continued to come back, over and over again.
Since 2003, in 86 appearances for the Black Stars, Gyan has found the back of the net an astounding 45 times. He has also scored in three straight World Cups (one in 2006, three in 2010, and two in 2014), most recently against Germany and Portugal. He’s a player who thrives on the big stage and continues to crave responsibility when he’s on it, which is why so many people were shocked when he decided to move on from Sunderland to the United Arab Emirates.
If you imagine goalscoring as a process that starts with a run and ends with a celebration, it’s hard to think of anyone as consistently entertaining over the past six to seven years as Baby Jet. Not only can he finish, but it’s always Christmas when he peels off to celebrate goals, breaking toward the corner flag like the greased up deaf guy on Family Guy. There’s often a dance present waiting for you. And if you didn’t already know, that’s because singing and dancing is in Baby Jet’s DNA. Just check out his Instagram account if you doubt us.
Then there’s the music videos, like this one he made with Ghanaian artist Castro, in which Gyan refers to himself by name approximately 400 times as if he’s confident that’s the only way you’ll remember his name. You can tell that when Gyan puts his mind to something, he dedicates himself fully to that endeavor. He also, shockingly, dances in the video.
There’s no shortage of Gyan-generated content on the web. In addition to his Instagram account, which is the most entertaining of rabbit holes, he also has a website dedicated to all things Gyan, including exclusives on hiring “Experienced Jefferey Asare” as the new Media Officer of Baby Jet Promotions, and boxing matches he’s interested in promoting. It’s pretty clear that, even though he has plenty of notches on his belt, Asamoah Gyan, at 28 years young, still has many more rounds to fight. Unless you’re this little girl, you just can’t deny it.
The Fake numbers
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