European Football, also called Soccer has become one of the top three most profitable sports in the world. With players like Kylian Mbappe earning as much as $62 million per year, Lionel Messi making $41 million per year and Christiano Ronaldo making about $36 million per year. Ghana has over the years produced a huge number of world class football talents that have made their marks on the international scene. Beginning with Samuel Kuffour who played in Europe for Torino F.C. in 1991, we can talk of Abedi Pele, one of the first African footballers to heavily influence European football, Stephen Appiah, Sule Muntari and a lot more others.
Away from the men however, a few women on the world stage making huge strides in the world of football are also of Ghanaian descent. One of such women is Anita Amma Ankyewah Asante, the newly appointed coach of Bristol City’s women’s team. She has now been appointed as a first-team coach of Bristol City Women and will be assisting head coach Lauren Smith when the 2022/23 season kickstarts.
The 37-year-old is a former defender or midfielder who now coaches football in England and is of Ghanaian heritage. She signed up with Arsenal as a youngster in 1998, and in the 2003–2004 season, she was promoted to the senior team. She was a member of the Arsenal side that won the quadruple in 2006–2007, including the FA Women’s National Premier League, FA Women’s Cup, and FA Women’s Premier League Cup. She was also a member of the Arsenal team which is said to have performed very well in the final and made history by becoming the first team from a country other than Germany or Scandinavia to win the UEFA Women’s Cup. Asante joined Chelsea Ladies in 2008.
She was chosen for the Great Britain team for the 2012 London Olympics and has made 71 international appearances for the English national team. Asante has played club soccer for English clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, and Aston Villa as well as for American Women’s Professional Soccer teams Saint Louis Athletica, Chicago Red Stars, Washington Freedom, and Sky Blue FC (WPS). She played for two seasons with Göteborg and then four with FC Rosengrd throughout her six seasons in Sweden. A few months before she was hired as a coach, Asante declared she would stop playing at the conclusion of that season.
Asante was a scholar under the UK Government’s Talented Athletes Scholarship Scheme and pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and English at Brunel University’s Business School in London. She began a PhD in the US, which she intends to finish after her professional playing career is ended to examine the governance of women’s football.
Asante remains the only female footballer of Ghanaian descent to have won the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
She was a member of the Arsenal team that swept every domestic and European trophy in 2007 en route to a record quadruple. She also won FA Cups and won league titles in Sweden, England, and the US.