David at what point, growing up, did you realise that you wanted to be a pro soccer player?
“When I was young at about thirteen years old, even though I started playing when I was about six or seven. During that time I was just playing for fun until I then knew that I was better than most of my colleagues and my passion was in football, nothing else. I knew that I would become a professional soccer player when I was playing for an academy side in Ghana and that’s where everything started.”
Did you have a team that you dreamed of playing for someday?
“Yes I always loved Arsenal as a kid and I watched their games most of the time. I loved Robert Pires and Thierry Henry so I always dreamt of playing for them one day. That is still the dream now.”
You came to England as a teenager, why did you make that move?
“I knew that I was also doing well at school and I didn’t want to just play football, I wanted my education as well. I had a chance to come and study at Hartpury College in England so I was got to play at a decent level and whilst also doing my studies. I think that decision payed off well.”
Years on, you are now a well-established soccer player, how are you finding life in the MLS with Chigaco Fire?
“I am enjoying everything about the league and about Chicago, even though we had a difficult season last time out. The team had a difficult first season, personally I did really well but maybe I could have done better to help the team to the Play-offs. I have really enjoyed everything, the exposure, the environment and the club.”
How excited are you about the growing popularity of the League?
“Yeah I am, before people thought that the MLS was just like a retirement league for older players but now I think they have a good perception about the league because of the good players that are coming in. There are some good young players coming in and they are doing really well, for me it makes me happy and means that I made the right decision to go there. In two or three years the league will be much, much better compared to what is was like in previous years.”
How different is the MLS to the football you played in Ghana?
“Yes it is different, every team you come up against have their own unique way playing style. The MLS is a faster league, players are more athletic and the speed is high compared to Ghana. However Ghana is more aggressive and technical.”
Who is the best player that you have ever played against? Why?
“I would go with Didier Drogba. It’s not only what he can do on the pitch, it’s his leadership even when he is not having a good game. The way that he controls his team and what he does to lift the team is unreal and you need these kind of people. On the pitch he is a role model for every young player and I really loved playing against him.”
What has been your highlight with the Ghana national team so far?
“I think it is always amazing when you get the call up for your national team because as a kid that is what you dream of, playing at the highest level. I always thank God for this opportunity and I have been fortunate enough to be in the national team for two years now. My highlight was scoring my first goal against Mauritius early last year, so I feel really proud and I know this is a dream, to score for the national team. That day was amazing for me.”
Was it a tap-in or a screamer?
“It was inside the box but it was a good goal to be fair and I enjoyed it.”
Let’s talk about your faith, how did you come to know God for yourself?
“I was blessed enough to have my parents who were Christians and when I was a kid they took me to church and we always read the bible and prayed. Growing up it was part of me so when I was a kid we would talk about Christ and so I grew up as a Christian and I still am to this day.”
Have you had any positive chats about God with non-believing team mates?
“Yes I do try to talk to my team mates about God but it’s difficult with this kind of world that we are in. It is difficult to try and encourage your team mates with God but any chance that I get I try to talk to them. Sometimes it is positive and sometimes it is not.”
Who do you bounce off and chat to about your faith, in the sport?
“Yes, to be fair I am a diverse person and have some friends who are Muslim, I keep in contact with them because we are good friends but I also have a lot of good Christian friends. I have Christian Atsu, I talk to him most of the time, Patrick Nyarko who also plays for Chicago Fire and there are a lot of Christian friends that I talk to and they use their football career to please God as well.”
Do you see your soccer ability as a gift from God? In what way?
“Yeah, I know that my talent is from God because in the bible it says that God has given everyone talent and it is our responsibility to find it and use it to glorify him. As I grew up my passion was in soccer and I knew it was from God so I pray to God to help me identify my talent and that I would use it to bring him glory. So I became a professional soccer player as this was what God had given me.”
What advice would you give to other Christian footballer around the world, maybe as they start out in their careers?
“My advice is that we can try and plan everything but God should lead the way, in everything we do we should put God first. In Proverbs it says that there is a way that seems right to man but we should put God first, even if we have planned to do this or that. We have no guarantee.”