Teenage Ghanaian striker Felix Afena-Gyan expressed gratitude to AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho following his debut appearance for the Italian club.
The 18-year-old debuted in Roma’s 2-1 win Cagliari in the Serie A on Wednesday night.
Mourinho, serving a red card suspension, was in the stands and directed his assistant to introduce Afena-Gyan in the 57th minute.
Afena-Gyan did his best, helping Roma score two goals in the last 20 minutes to complete a comeback victory at Sardegna Arena.
“First of all, I will like to say thank you to Roma and everyone for the opportunity they gave me. I am very happy,” he told AS Roma TV.
”The coach believed in me that’s why he sent me to the field and due to that I didn’t want to prove him wrong or prove myself wrong.
”So I need to work hard and have a strong mentality and give my best on the field to support the team.”
Mourinho was impressed by Afena-Gyan’s debut that he took to Instagram to praise him.
Afena-Gyan trained with Roma’s first team for the first time during the international break early this month.
Last weekend, Afena-Gyan made Mourinho’s squad for the first time and sat on the bench as Roma drew goalless at home against Napoli.
Afena-Gyan’s rise to the top has been rapid. Earlier this year, he was playing in the Brong Ahafo inter-schools competition.
He was scouted by football agent Oliver Arthur and joined Roma in March.
At Roma, he started at U18 and is now the star of their U19 team. Afena-Gyan has scored six goals and is the top scorer of the Italian U19 league.
He would hope to get more first team opportunities.