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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 09:34 GMT
Ask Stephen Appiah
Stephen Appiah
Appiah answered your questions on the BBC World Service
Whatever you wanted to know about Stephen Appiah, the Ghana midfielder who plays for Fenerbahce in Turkey, we gave you the chance to ask!

You sent in hundreds of questions for us to put to the Black Stars captain and the BBC's Farayi Mungazi visited Appiah, at his home in Istanbul, to get the answers.

Broadcast live on the BBC World Service's Fast Track programme on 5 March, here are the questions that Stephen Appiah answered.


I want to know why Stephen Appiah will not consider coming to the BEST league in the world, the English Premiership. He has great skills on the ball.
Ebenezer Yakubu, Ghana

Lots of people asking similar questions including:
Eric Denteh, Ghana
Andrew Bray, USA
Asante Edward, Ghana
Allie Kabba, Sierra Leonean in Canada
Will Stebbs, England
Samuel Layette, Ghana

Stephen said: "After eight years in Italy I was set to move to England but Fenerbahce offered the most money for me.

"It's true that during the World Cup both Arsenal and Portsmouth were interested in signing me but it was too near to the end of the transfer window.

"It would have meant that Fenerbahce would not have had time to sign a replacement, so I stayed.

"But my game would be well suited to the Premier League as I'm a strong runner on the ball."

What are the chances of you making it to the 2010 World Cup and also do you think an African team is ready to win our first World Cup on an African continent?
Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi, a Ghanaian in the USA

Lots of people asking similar questions including:
Delcontee J.Wleh Jr., a Liberian living in the USA.
Mark Salem, Finland
Peter Kwasi , UK via Ghana

Stephen said: "I think that with the World Cup being hosted by South Africa all Africans should get behind the African sides.

"You never know whether we can win or not - it's not like 20 years ago though where many players had not played in Europe.

"We have a good chance."

"As for me, players like Roberto Baggio, Lilian Thuram all played at major tournaments when they were over thirty.

"Football is not all about the physical side of the game.

"As you get older, they tell me that mentally you become stronger and you can play better."

Is it true that Barcelona and Arsenal were after you? If so why did you snub them?
Prof. Lalas, Ghana

Stephen said: "I didn't snub them but they came in too late for the move to be completed.

"I'm not sure who I would pick - but both Arsenal and Barcelona are good teams and I would be happy playing for either."

Are you related to the former Black Stars captain Kwasi Appiah?
Fred Asomani, USA

Stephen said: "I'm not related to him, but I think of him as a big brother.

"He always used to call me after my matches and give me advice, which coming from a former Black Stars captain, was really good to hear."

Where does your motivation come from?
Mujeeb, Cambridge UK

Stephen said: "My motivation comes first from God, then my wife and children - I want to make them happy.

"I am also a religious person, I pray every day but I am passionate about football.

"It's a lot of fun - you always play with your friends!

"Abedi Pele was also a great influence on me and inspired me to play football - I also looked up to Zico greatly.

Does any member of your family play football?
Fred Oboe-Sam, Ghana

Stephen said: "Fomer Black Stars defender Emmanuel Hama was my cousin.

"I have three boys - two of which are at the Juventus academy in Italy.

"I won't force them to take one path over another but I'm hoping they may become footballers.

"I want them to go to school first and then they can decide."

Is the standard of coaching significantly better in Europe? If so, how can things be changed in Africa?
Jake Brown, England

Stephen said: "More money has to be put into football in Africa.

"Without decent pay, nobody will want to get involved or play well.

"That is the difference between Europe and Africa."

What would you like to do after you retire from international football?
Felix Quarcoo, Ghana

Stephen said:"I would like to help children through football.

"I hope I can inspire them - I've been thinking about it a lot, in fact it is always in my mind."

What do you think of Zimbabwean football?
Stanley Makuwe, New Zealand

Stephen said: "From what I saw of them in the African Nations Cup in Egypt, I think they're not a bad side at all.

"In Benjani Mwaruwari they have a great young player who can help bring on other players."

How come you have such a great rapport with Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari as well as the other players?
Kay Agyengo, Ghana

Stephen said: "All the guys are my friends - but I hang out with Michael Essien, Laryea Kingston and Sulley Muntari the most."

When are you going to become President of Ghana - next year?
Bobo Rasta, Ghana

Stephen said: "God gave me the opportunity to help my country as a footballer.

"I have no interest in politics and will not be looking to become the president!"

Appiah, would you come back to play for Hearts of Oak at the end of your tremendous European career?
Nana Minta, Ghana

Stephen said: "I would love to play for Hearts of Oak again.

"Maybe at the end of my career - I played with some great players from the side.

"When I was only 14, I played with some great names who helped me develop my game.

"I would like to help the young players there now in the same way some day."

Hi Stephen I'm a fan of Bolton Wanderers and I was wondering what did you think of Nicolas Anelka whilst he was at Fenerbahce?
Sam Bradley-Green, England

Stephen said: "I'd heard a lot of bad things about Anelka, but when I played with him he was fine.

"He prefers to be on his own much of the time but he is one of the best strikers in Europe in my opinion."



SEE ALSO
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07 Feb 07 |  African


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