Former Ghana captain and Al Ain goal machine Asamoah Gyan announces retirement

Black Star's all-time record scorer calls time on career at age of 37

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates- March,18, 2014:  Asamoah Gyan of Al Ain (UAE)  celebratres after scoring  a goal against  Tractorsazi (Iran)  during the AFC Champions League at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain . ( Satish Kumar / The National )  For Sports
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Ghana’s all-time top goalscorer and former Al Ain star Asamoah Gyan has announced his retirement from football.

The 37-year-old, who scored 51 goals in 109 appearances for his country, called time on a career spanning more than two decades on Tuesday.

The former captain featured at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and represented his country at seven Africa Cup of Nations tournaments – reaching the final on two occasions.

A key member of the Ghana side that reached the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals – he missed the penalty in the last minute of extra-time against Uruguay after Luis Suarez had been sent-off for handling a goal-bound effort.

Gyan did convert his penalty in the shoot-out which Ghana lost 4-2.

“I want to take this great opportunity, a stage that is difficult in every footballer's career, a moment all footballers do not wish, but when nature dawns, that thin voice will keep echoing into the ears,” said Gyan in a statement on his Twitter account.

“It is time … that voice has been clear in my ears, and I have succumbed to it, it is time.

“It is time to hang up the jersey and boots in glory as I officially retire from active football.

“I want to thank my beloved country Ghana, my family, my colleagues from school, those from colts and Blackstar from 2002 to date, club mates, coaches and everybody who played a role in my career as a footballer. I say thank you … may God bless us all.”

Gyan, who last played a competitive match almost three years ago, signed for several European clubs during his career including Sunderland in the Premier League, Serie A's Udinese, as well as Rennes in Ligue 1.

He also enjoyed a prolific spell in the UAE with Al Ain after leaving Sunderland – initially on a loan deal that became a permanent move in 2012.

Gyan spent four years in the Garden City going on to score 123 goals in 123 matches. He helped the club to three league titles and one President’s Cup crown, scoring the winner in the 2014 final. He won the UAE top flight’s Golden Boot three times and was top scorer in the 2014 Asian Champions League.

Gyan left the UAE for China’s Shanghai SIPG in 2015 – where he became one of the world's best-paid footballers – but would look back fondly at his time in the Middle East and would return for a second spell in the UAE Pro League on loan at Al Ahli in Dubai.

“I played in the best league in the world in England with Sunderland,” he told in 2019. “But Al Ain was the team where I spent the most time. I think for most of my career, I have spent only one to two years with different clubs. With Al Ain, I gave my everything.

“I was the top scorer for four years and was also adjudged the best player in Asia. You can say that my best football was with Al Ain. In terms of fans, Sunderland fans were great. But then I spent a long time with Al Ain, so their fans also loved and were amazing.”

Gyan – who also had spells in Turkey and India, spending his final football days playing for Legon Cities FC in Ghana – ends his career having scored 216 goals in 417 games.

In 2022, he released a memoir: the impressively titled LeGyanDry. “This day means a lot to me because of where I am coming from,” Gyan said during the book launch attended by Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“I am very grateful to everyone especially the President for gracing this occasion and I believe that the future is bright for me after this event.”

Updated: June 21, 2023, 1:07 PM