Ayiah has scored five goals in two games at the ongoing Africa U-17 Championship
Only two games into the Africa U-17 Championship and Eric Ayiah has already earned high praise as Ghana’s next big thing.
The 17-year-old, who captains the Black Starlets of Ghana, has scored five of the team’s nine goals in Gabon so far – a hat trick in a 4-0 win against Cameroon in the opener, and a brace in a 5-0 thrashing of the hosts in the second game.
The striker, whose exploits have propelled Ghana into the semi final of the tournament and consequently, the World Cup to take place in India later this year, says he draws his marksmanship inspiration from Cristiano Ronaldo and Asamoah Gyan.
“I love strikers and my favourites are Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid; and Asamoah Gyan of Black Stars,” Ayiah told CAF Online.
“I like Ronaldo because of his seriousness on the field, he always wants to score and win; and I like Gyan for his fighting spirit and because he is the captain of our national team, Black Stars.”
Ayiah, who plays for Ghanaian second tier side Charity Stars, has credited coach Samuel Paa Kwesi Fabin as helping him build his confidence in front of goal.
“I have learned so much from our coach because in the beginning, I was not doing well but he told me to always calm down especially when I’m in front of the goals and I’m happy everything is working well now.”
Ayiah peculiarly wears the number six shirt despite being a striker for the two-time World and African champions. He explains his weird choice of number.
“I’m a striker but I love the No. 6 jersey because I was born on March 6, 2000 and it is also the Independence Day of Ghana, that’s why I love the No.6.”
The youngster remains modest about his prolific output, choosing to focus on the team’s progress while praising the efforts of his teammates.
“Football is not only about scoring goals, it is also winning and I’m happy that we are winning our matches here in Gabon,” Ayiah said.
“I feel so good about the goals I have scored so far in this competition but I want to thank my teammates for the support because this is all about team’s effort.”
EnterGhana.com | Credit: Pulse.com.gh | Eric Ayiah: Prolific Black Starlets captain draws inspiration from Ronaldo, Gyan