Some point to bad career choices. Others simply say it’s a case of becoming the subject of hype early on in a player’s career that the varying degrees to peaking in the profession enhance the levels of obscurity or global stardom.
Dominic Adiyiah had blossomed at the 2009 U-20 World Cup, winning the Golden Shoe and Golden Boot awards with his eight goals at the said tournament. Adiyiah’s rise to prominence was quite short-lived, to say the least. Many expected the rising star to find life relatively easier than his peers from Ghana’s colts football but a decade after, it has been anything but.
The 29-year old has seen his career taken a downturn since 2010. He has played for 11 clubs in 10 years but is never seen in highly rated top-flight clubs. Settling for second division teams has become a norm for the former Fredrikstad star and the latest is Thai second-tier side Sisaket FC.
After standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Juventus ace Douglas Costa and Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker Alex Teixeira, Adiyiah may have thought the years succeeding his top moments in Egypt were to be full of success. Sady though, Adiyiah’s upward trajectory was cut short all too quickly. His move to AC Milan only months after helping Ghana to a first World Cup trophy ended farcically. A series of loan deals with a host of clubs including Reggina, Partizan Belgrade, Karsiyaka, Arsenal Kyiv and Swat Cat saw him score only 32 goals in 201 appearances.
His foray into European and Asian football has seen him play in seven leagues but his lowly numbers of 29 league goals since 2008 exposes more rainy days in his career than the drier and smoother. They say in football, that a player shines at best between ages 27 and 30, but at 29, Adiyiah has reduced himself to the Thai second tier. It’s not strange that he has remained in Thai football. He has scored most of his 29 league goals in that country. 19 of them have come when playing for Swat Cat Nakhonratchasima Mazda FC.
Adiyiah is one of the stars that could have been but up until now, his biggest accomplishment in the beautiful game stands at sharing the podium in the 2009 U20 World Cup with players strutting their stuff with the very best in top-tier club football at the moment. He has fallen like a ton of bricks.
The careers of Adiyiah and his rather recognized national team colleague Andre Ayew have coincided and overlapped in a manner that does not flatter the former much. Today, he would look back and wish he had rejected the overtures of AC Milan when they went all out for him in 2009. But in truth, Adiyiah was struggling in his club career before his magic wand was waved in Egypt for Ghana. He had played eight times in two seasons for Norwegian side Fredrikstad without scoring a single goal before joining the seven-time European champions. AC Milan were not only a club too big for Adiyiah as some put it. He was just not top class enough.
Now at Sisaket, all hope for his upsurge must be all gone. Any form of a renaissance at this stage in his career is not expected and it has become clear over the years that Adiyiah’s career has faded into oblivion, never to be seen under the bright lights of the famous stadia in European football.
By Thierry Nyann
The writer is a Sports Journalist with 3FM & TV3