Former Ghana international Shilla Illiasu has said missing an opportunity to play for English Premier League side Arsenal is his biggest career regret.
Speaking in an interview with TV3, Illiasu, who played for Ghana at the 2006 World Cup, said the incident still haunts him.
“When the opportunity to play for Arsenal came, I was in doubt. I didn’t think my dream was coming to pass. I love Arsenal.”
He recounted further: “After our game against Czech, I was at the hotel when my agent came to me and said ‘Shilla, gradually we are getting close; Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger was at the stadium and so, after the tournament you are going to Arsenal for trials’.
He continued: “I went to Arsenal for two weeks. I nearly signed a deal. I remember Ghana’s game against Togo in London, I came to the match and saw a journalist and he said ‘Shilla, congratulations you have been given the number 27 jersey to represent Arsenal’. Kolo Touré was there and he also said ‘sign what are you waiting for’ and I told him I was waiting for my agent. If you ask me what really went wrong, I can’t tell. I really regret not signing for Arsenal.”
Illiasu’s World Cup participation was part of a historic first for Ghana as a nation. The country had made it after a sensational round of qualifiers.
Germany 2006 brought with it so many revelations, one being the lanky Ghanaian defender.
Illiasu’s career saw him play domestically for Real Tamale United, King Faisal and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
He also played for Russian side FC Saturn Ramenskoye, and Impuls Dilijan in Armenia.
By Nana Akua Amankwaa Quaye|3news.com|Ghana