Saturday, 25 October 2014

“Wenger, I’m ready to play for Arsenal” - Ghana’s Homeless World Cup star Mensah

The Ghana Homeless World Cup star is eyeing a call to play for the Gunners following an outstanding performance in the street soccer-style tournament in Santiago

A member of Team Ghana participating in this year’s Homeless World Cup in Santiago, Mensah McDonald Ezekel, is knocking on the doors of English side Arsenal to give him a chance.

Mensah is a super fan of the Gunners and hopes to use his exploits at the Homeless World Cup to catch the eyes of Arsenal scouts.

Team Ghana are among 42 nations taking part in this year’s street soccer–style tournament for homeless men, women and youth, which kicked off October 19 with the finals taking place on Sunday, October 26.

The 18-year-age Ghanaian is already a delight of the fans with his skills and attitude on the pitch.

“I am here to make my family proud,” the winger told the press.

The brother of three younger siblings had a long trip from Ghana through South Africa and Brazil to get to Santiago. Mensah was given the opportunity to represent the west African side by the manager of the Ghana Homeless World Cup team and believes he has not only developed as a player but as a person also.

“We are very poor back home, but me coming here is not just for me. It's for the people of Ghana.”

Mensah lives his life for the beautiful game commenting that he “eats, sleeps, and drinks football.”

Interestingly, the teenager carries his school certificates wherever he goes. According to him, until he receives the fateful call from The Emirates Stadium, he will fall back on his more achievable dream of going to university and gaining a degree in computer science.

Mensah is one of the many who have been lifted out of homelessness and poverty by Street Soccer organisations currently operating in 74 nations across the world with an accumulative reach of 100,000 each year. The Homeless World Cup is the final stage of the year-long programmes offering an alternative to a life of isolation, gangs, addictions and homelessness.

The president and co-founder of the Homeless World Cup, Mel Young said: “The Homeless World Cup is a culmination of all that hard work and we have many success stories of our players’ progression routes out of poverty and their journey to re-join society.

“With more than 80% of players returning to full-time accommodation, education and employment after taking part in the Homeless World Cup, they are literally transformed by the experience of representing their nation.”

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