Translate To All Languages

GARGO: An incredible career of intoxicating high points and tough lows

Mohammed Gargo still has a photo of himself in a Ghana kit as his WhatsApp display photo showing how memorable those times were for him. It ...

Mohammed Gargo still has a photo of himself in a Ghana kit as his WhatsApp display photo showing how memorable those times were for him.

It is one of those action shots players these days like to post on their Twitter feed – a shot of him running back into position after making a tackle.

Whenever Gargo’s name is mentioned in football conversations, a chunk of the talk goes back to the U-17 World Cup in Italy in 1991.

FIFA has an article on its website about that tournament where the featured image has Nii Odartey Lamptey hoisting the trophy in one hand with his other raised as well. By his side, talismanic German coach, Otto Pfister and goalkeeper, Ali Jarrah looks on in ecstasy.

The article talks up some of Ghana’s biggest moments at the tournament with a section where some of the best players from the Ghana side are given some reverence and Gargo’s name is in there – printed in italics.

Every player needs a launchpad to greater things and for Gargo, it was that tournament in 1991. In the most crucial of games against Brazil in the quarter-final stage, he popped up with the winner. “That goal meant a lot to me. It was the goal that probably gave me a good standing in the team and confidence to move on in the competition…” He said with a broad smile.

The Starlets of 1991 are to a very large extent the golden generation of youth football in Ghana. They laid the foundation for the teams that went on to win Bronze at the Olympics in 1992 and Silver at the 1993 U20 World Cup. Many of the players in that ’91 squad, albeit not living up to the desired potential, also went on to form the core of the Black Stars in subsequent years. “’91 was a good year. We had a fantastic upbringing as far as football is concerned. We were able to be successful in that year and it brings a lot of good memories.

That squad had an abundance of talents. Alex Opoku, Dan Addo, Emmanuel Duah, Osei Kuffour, Odartey Lamptey, Yaw Preko and others. It was a different generation altogether. I will classify my time as the best National U-17 team that Ghana has every produced…”

If Gargo was good at international football, on the club scene he was better. He was much more than the archetypal Ghanaian player. He benefitted from the merits of youth football and in 1992, right from Real Tamale United, he flew to Italy. Gargo was one of the first few players from Ghana to travel to play in the Italian league in the early 90s when racism was at an unbelievable height.

His arrival in Italy demystified the perceptions many had about African footballers. “The world couldn’t understand and even the Italians couldn’t understand. Immediately when we got to Torino, there was a very big TV interview that was organized by the FA and the journalists as well. Roger Milla was invited, Paolo Rossi was there just to discuss us. Torino brought in three young Africans to play in the Serie A, how possible?” he said with a sense of tamed hubris he has honed all through the years of being a star.

Gargo comes from a long lineage of footballers. Originally from Bawku, he was born at the Burma Camp in Accra to a father who albeit a good footballer, settled to act as one of the army’s physical trainers. The Busanga tribe from which Gargo’s kindred hails broke away from the Mande ethnic group in Burkina Faso to settle in northern Ghana. Their rich history and years of conquering states to their modern home is well documented in history. Their men are generally able-bodied, masculine figures with an imposing sense of presence. Gargo is one of his kind. In his playing days, he was always one of the tall guys.

Towering above everyone on the field, thus giving him an extra urge over his opponents. It is therefore not a surprise that his name, Gargo means giant in the Busanga dialect. The football came to him naturally. His uncle, Alhaji Imoro Gargo played for the great Kumasi Asante Kotoko sides in the 1970s alongside the legendary Baba Yara and former Ghana and Borussia Dortmund man, Ibrahim Tanko his cousin.

The former defender’s family moved from Accra to Tamale while he was still a toddler. He grew up in Tamale’s hardcore Kamina Barracks and started his career as a colts’ player at Great Eagles Colts Club in the city. Living in the barracks toughened the man up. His father was the ultimate authoritarian and it gave him an extra value to be disciplined and headstrong.

It is however unsurprising that he got to Italy and captained Udinese for years and later took his leadership qualities to Genoa. Imagine being an African and captaining an Italian side in the early 90s? That was how difficult it was for Gargo. But the years of perseverance paid dividends for Ghana. “I will say it was me. I opened the door for many Ghanaian players. I made it comfortable to play there and my career there meant they could trust many more Ghanaians.”

The making of a football star means a lot more than just having talent. It entails way more. Consistent training, the will to succeed, desire, passion and luck. Yes, luck.

Many times, the refrain is that you make your own luck; which is true to a point but in some cases, after all the hard work and preparation, you just need that little stroke of luck to just push you up the ladder. In former Ghana captain, Stephen Appiah’s case, Gargo was his splinter of luck.

In 1997, Appiah had just accepted to play on trial in Europe after flying out of Hearts of Oak. He had had trials in a few countries until he landed in Italy. Played in training and impressed but he was still being sidelined. As a captain who was looking out for his compatriot, Gargo put in a word for Appiah on most days but they fell on deaf ears. In 1998, in a Serie A game, Gargo feigned an injury, signalled the bench and implored them to bring on Stephen Appiah.

The coaching staff listened. Appiah came on and scored from a 25 metre shot with five minutes remaining. It was the start of good things to come for the young man from Chorkor. “Stephen had been through a lot. I didn’t know who he was when he first came. I just saw a boy who was desperate and wanted to make it. So I had to do something to help. It was the last day of his trial. It was crucial thing I did for him at the time” He said with pride, the kind a father shows after a child’s brilliant performance at school.

The fact that a player of Gargo’s quality played less than 30 time for the Black Stars is an oversight that can never be corrected. As a player he had everything. The strength to win the ball, the awareness to pass it and hard a ferocious strike ability is hidden in his right leg that he occasionally whipped out in games. It became his trademark.

Much of Gargo’s problems began after he left Udinese but even then, he still managed to paper over the cracks at Genoa to become captain. Moved on to play in the Middle East and settled back in Ghana where he joined the gold-rich Obuasi club, Ashanti Gold.

Gargo was a standard-bearer. A true representation of where he came from and he held on to his values with both hands. On the field, he was a swashbuckling no-nonsense, no holds barred defender who feared no one but, off the field he was a far-cry from your typical footballer. His unique dress sense and his penchant for flashy vehicles saw him punching above his weights in the bitsy Ghanaian celebrity circle. He became everyone’s man in no time. But all that cost him on the football field as his attention gradually swayed away from game.

Much of Gargo’s later life stress stemmed from a failure to appreciate the philosophy, “less is more”. “One of the regrets is being too naughty and thinking I had so much time. In football, you have your primetime that takes you from ten to fifteen years. Sometimes you think you are young but time comes by fast”.

Now a coach at the Steadfast Football Club in Tamale after a brief unsuccessful spell in Namibia, Gargo is back to where it all began. One of his boys, Abdul Fatawu Issahaku has just been named best player at the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.

This will make him proud and will also remind him of his days as a youngster. Hopefully, he can keep Fatawu and the rest of the players at the fledgeling club on the straight and narrow. 


RECENT WITH THUMBS$type=blogging$m=0$cate=0$sn=0$rm=0$c=4$va=0

Local News Entertainment Celebrities music Politics Ghana Africa Entertainment News World-Entertainment Ghana music news Videos Election 2020 NPP Crime Musicians Presidential Latest News In Ghana Africa News NDC Breaking News Sports Education Volta Region Breaking Africa Relationship Finance General News featured news GH MUSIC Parliamentary Video Breaking World-Sports Latest music Music Video Business Nigerian Music Nigeria World News Ewe Ghana Sports News 18+ Health www.EweGhana.Net Slay Queen Results Trending EweGhana World-Politics Government World-Business Police Ladies Advert Dancehall Shatta Wale Music and Video Football EweGhana.Net Ashanti Region Covid19 Foreign News School Biography Church Culture Accident Events Religious Press Release News In French Gospel Music International Rock Venus lifestyle Awards Election History Sarkodie Stonebwoy Technology showbizz Shows Social Food Kwabena Yeboah Soccer Akufo Addo Artiste Profile Coronavirus Porn Accra Animals Games Sex mixtape #Fixthecountry Music Lyrics NPP NEWS Media Artists Profile Kenya Nigeria Videos Bible Fashion Security Showbiz Birthday Life Others Performing Video Bloggers Job Pastor Science Akuapem Poloo Artist DJs Mixtape FM Program Germany Interview Market Multimedia Photos Tourism Corona Virus Coronavirus News Dj china ghana Gosple India Actress Ashanti Beauty Talk Fucking Khemikhals MP Speak Your Mind Movement Tema Uganda Advice Court Curvy FM Stations Gun Instrumentals Italian Music Mali Marriage Radio Station Program Togo Blakabill Festivals Journalism Life Inspiration Medikal Philohope South Africa Trending News Tv3 Actor Arsenal Burkina Faso Cameroon Central Africa Chad Dance Video Date Rush Death Destie HIPLIFE Jamaica Malaria Minister Of Health Nana Agradaa Princess Of Principle Republic Of The Congo Sierra Leone Tanzania USA West Africa Adult Banks Benin Edem Event France Hip hop Instrumental Jobs Mozambique Russia Senegal Thac Nation Trees Tunisia Weapon World-Music Afia Odo Athletes Australia British China Christians Egypt Environment GHANA NEWS HEADLINES Galamsey Gold Gold Cassy Reigns Haircut Hairstyle IGP Inspiring Our Culture Leaks Manchester United Money National Other Parties Reggae Rhino Robbers Sierra Leone Music Social news South Sudan Tokyo Upcoming Vaccine World Health Organization kuami Eugene Afri America Anoda Level Articles Bono Region Comedy Crises D Black Digital Marketing Ethiopia Film Ghana Music Lyrics Gyakie Hotel Light It Up Records Morocco Mr. Loyalty Peeshaar Dhiss Pregnancy President Joe Biden Sakabo Strongman Technician Tribes Water Yaa Pono fire outbreaks opinion AFRICA NEWS HEADLINES AirtelTtigo Ama Nova Army Art Barcelona Belgium Benin Music Berlin Bet Big Boiz Burna Boy COVID-19 Cowbell Cup Davido Destiny Etiko Dubai ECOWAS Eastern Region Ebola Efia Odo Efya El Kassy Electoral Commission Europa League Europe Finland Fraud French German Shepherd Grammy Award Guchi Hair Growth Hospital Hygiene Iran Jaman Kwabena Japan Jennifer Joe Main Johannesburg John Dumelo Kasapa Kasoa Kennedy Agyapong Kidi King Godzy Kofi Kinaata Kumasi Kumawood Kwaw Kese Ladis Lawyer Ntim Liberia Lyrics Video Malawi Mavado Maxbriyann Miami Michelle Obama Model Motivation Motorbikes Motorway MzVee NASA Nanky Nigeria Nig Nollywood Official Olympic Pakistan Paralympian Plants Port Poverty Prosecutor Queen Of Africa Ras Rex Omar Richest Rwanda Secu Shugatiti Somalia Suez Canal Sunyani Sweden Taiwan Tamale Teni Thailand The Trigger Vibes Tokyo Olympic Games Train Tubrizzy Turkey UK UN United States Vacc Vybz Kartel WHO Youth Zambia Zimbabwe beaches Akrobeto Akwaboah Album Amerado Anthony B Ay Poyoo Banger Alert Bisa Kdei Body Builders Boxer Brazil Bus Cannot Lose Carboni Central Region Culture Festivals Divorce Dj Profile Doctor Drip Yesu EP Eastern Region Ebony Efua Kueen Enam – Talk To Your Boyfriend (Feat Sister Deborah X T’neeya) England Eno Be Muf Faction Designs Fameye Fancy Gadam Fava Gee Gallaxy Gospel Hair Style Hajia Bintu Ike Millions Italy Jamz Album Jokes Kahpun Kanye West Kelvynboy Ken Rhapz King Godzy Gh King Promise Kofi mole Kwame Yogot Kwesi Arthur Larruso Legon Libyan Living Dove Chapel Love Massage Mharidiva Northern Region Nurse Okyeame Kwame Old News Pappy Kojo Penis Ph Media Africa Portugal Prison Products Prostitute Rape Ras Kuuku Rastafarian Reggie Rockstone Rema Rent Romania Samini Selena Gomez Selina Boateng Shoprite Show Sista Afia Sister Derby Snakes Stonedeegh Sudan Table Tennis Tattoo ThanksGiving Tommy Lee Spartan Tony West Top 50 Best Indian Film Actresses VehementlyBwoy Wizkid Yvonne Nelson ent l officials series

#Fixthecountry,17,18+,69,Accident,33,Accra,19,Actor,6,Actress,9,Adult,5,Advert,50,Advice,8,Afia Odo,4,Afri,3,Africa,547,Africa News,193,AFRICA NEWS HEADLINES,2,AirtelTtigo,2,Akrobeto,1,Akuapem Poloo,11,Akufo Addo,21,Akwaboah,1,Album,1,Ama Nova,2,Amerado,1,America,3,Animals,18,Anoda Level,3,Anthony B,1,Army,2,Arsenal,6,Art,2,Articles,3,Artist,11,Artiste Profile,21,Artists Profile,15,Ashanti,9,Ashanti Region,40,Athletes,4,Australia,4,Awards,27,Ay Poyoo,1,Banger Alert,1,Banks,5,Barcelona,2,beaches,2,Beauty Talk,9,Belgium,2,Benin,5,Benin Music,2,Berlin,2,Bet,2,Bible,14,Big Boiz,2,Biography,35,Birthday,13,Bisa Kdei,1,Blakabill,7,Bloggers,12,Body Builders,1,Bono Region,3,Boxer,1,Brazil,1,Breaking,101,Breaking Africa,127,Breaking News,159,British,4,Burkina Faso,6,Burna Boy,2,Bus,1,Business,85,Cameroon,6,Cannot Lose,1,Carboni,1,Celebrities,911,Central Africa,6,Central Region,1,Chad,6,China,4,Christians,4,Church,34,Comedy,3,Corona Virus,10,Coronavirus,21,Coronavirus News,10,Court,8,COVID-19,2,Covid19,39,Cowbell,2,Crime,239,Crises,3,Culture,34,Culture Festivals,1,Cup,2,Curvy,8,D Black,3,Dance Video,6,Dancehall,50,Date Rush,6,Davido,2,Death,6,Destie,6,Destiny Etiko,2,Digital Marketing,3,Divorce,1,Dj china ghana,10,Dj Profile,1,DJs Mixtape,11,Doctor,1,Drip Yesu,1,Dubai,2,Eastern Region,1,Eastern Region,2,Ebola,2,Ebony,1,ECOWAS,2,Edem,5,Education,132,Efia Odo,2,Efua Kueen,1,Efya,2,Egypt,4,El Kassy,2,Election,27,Election 2020,270,Electoral Commission,2,Enam – Talk To Your Boyfriend (Feat Sister Deborah X T’neeya),1,England,1,Eno Be Muf,1,ent,1,Entertainment,1073,Entertainment News,523,Environment,4,EP,1,Ethiopia,3,Europa League,2,Europe,2,Event,5,Events,33,Ewe Ghana,72,EweGhana,60,EweGhana.Net,42,Faction Designs,1,Fameye,1,Fancy Gadam,1,Fashion,14,Fava Gee,1,featured news,115,Festivals,7,Film,3,Finance,119,Finland,2,fire outbreaks,3,FM Program,11,FM Stations,8,Food,23,Football,46,Foreign News,39,France,5,Fraud,2,French,2,Fucking,9,Galamsey,4,Gallaxy,1,Games,18,General News,115,German Shepherd,2,Germany,11,GH MUSIC,107,Ghana,611,Ghana music,432,Ghana Music Lyrics,3,GHANA NEWS HEADLINES,4,Gold,4,Gold Cassy Reigns,4,Gospel,1,Gospel Music,30,Gosple,10,Government,56,Grammy Award,2,Guchi,2,Gun,8,Gyakie,3,Hair Growth,2,Hair Style,1,Haircut,4,Hairstyle,4,Hajia Bintu,1,Health,69,Hip hop,5,HIPLIFE,6,History,26,Hospital,2,Hotel,3,Hygiene,2,IGP,4,Ike Millions,1,India,10,Inspiring Our Culture,4,Instrumental,5,Instrumentals,8,International,29,Interview,11,Iran,2,Italian Music,8,Italy,1,Jamaica,6,Jaman Kwabena,2,Jamz Album,1,Japan,2,Jennifer,2,Job,12,Jobs,5,Joe Main,2,Johannesburg,2,John Dumelo,2,Jokes,1,Journalism,7,Kahpun,1,Kanye West,1,Kasapa,2,Kasoa,2,Kelvynboy,1,Ken Rhapz,1,Kennedy Agyapong,2,Kenya,15,Khemikhals,9,Kidi,2,King Godzy,2,King Godzy Gh,1,King Promise,1,Kofi Kinaata,2,Kofi mole,1,kuami Eugene,4,Kumasi,2,Kumawood,2,Kwabena Yeboah,23,Kwame Yogot,1,Kwaw Kese,2,Kwesi Arthur,1,l,1,Ladies,51,Ladis,2,Larruso,1,Latest music,88,Latest News In Ghana,200,Lawyer Ntim,2,Leaks,4,Legon,1,Liberia,2,Libyan,1,Life,13,Life Inspiration,7,lifestyle,29,Light It Up Records,3,Living Dove Chapel,1,Local News,1299,Love,1,Lyrics Video,2,Malaria,6,Malawi,2,Mali,8,Manchester United,4,Market,11,Marriage,8,Massage,1,Mavado,2,Maxbriyann,2,Media,16,Medikal,7,Mharidiva,1,Miami,2,Michelle Obama,2,Minister Of Health,6,mixtape,18,Model,2,Money,4,Morocco,3,Motivation,2,Motorbikes,2,Motorway,2,Mozambique,5,MP,9,Mr. Loyalty,3,Multimedia,11,music,906,Music and Video,47,Music Lyrics,17,Music Video,88,Musicians,219,MzVee,2,Nana Agradaa,6,Nanky,2,NASA,2,National,4,NDC,167,news,419,News In French,31,Nigeria,76,Nigeria Nig,2,Nigeria Videos,15,Nigerian Music,83,Nollywood,2,Northern Region,1,NPP,256,NPP NEWS,17,Nurse,1,Official,2,officials,1,Okyeame Kwame,1,Old News,1,Olympic,2,opinion,3,Other Parties,4,Others,13,Pakistan,2,Pappy Kojo,1,Paralympian,2,Parliamentary,107,Pastor,12,Peeshaar Dhiss,3,Penis,1,Performing Video,13,Ph Media Africa,1,Philohope,7,Photos,11,Plants,2,Police,52,Politics,740,Porn,20,Port,2,Portugal,1,Poverty,2,Pregnancy,3,President Joe Biden,3,Presidential,217,Press Release,32,Princess Of Principle,6,Prison,1,Products,1,Prosecutor,2,Prostitute,1,Queen Of Africa,2,Radio Station Program,8,Rape,1,Ras,2,Ras Kuuku,1,Rastafarian,1,Reggae,4,Reggie Rockstone,1,Relationship,121,Religious,33,Rema,1,Rent,1,Republic Of The Congo,6,Results,62,Rex Omar,2,Rhino,4,Richest,2,Robbers,4,Rock Venus,29,Romania,1,Russia,5,Rwanda,2,Sakabo,3,Samini,1,Sarkodie,25,School,36,Science,12,Secu,2,Security,14,Selena Gomez,1,Selina Boateng,1,Senegal,5,series,1,Sex,18,Shatta Wale,49,Shoprite,1,Show,1,Showbiz,14,showbizz,25,Shows,24,Shugatiti,2,Sierra Leone,6,Sierra Leone Music,4,Sista Afia,1,Sister Derby,1,Slay Queen,65,Snakes,1,Soccer,23,Social,24,Social news,4,Somalia,2,South Africa,7,South Sudan,4,Speak Your Mind Movement,9,Sports,145,Sports News,70,Stonebwoy,25,Stonedeegh,1,Strongman,3,Sudan,1,Suez Canal,2,Sunyani,2,Sweden,2,Table Tennis,1,Taiwan,2,Tamale,2,Tanzania,6,Tattoo,1,Technician,3,Technology,25,Tema,9,Teni,2,Thac Nation,5,Thailand,2,ThanksGiving,1,The Trigger Vibes,2,Togo,8,Tokyo,4,Tokyo Olympic Games,2,Tommy Lee Spartan,1,Tony West,1,Top 50 Best Indian Film Actresses,1,Tourism,11,Train,2,Trees,5,Trending,61,Trending News,7,Tribes,3,Tubrizzy,2,Tunisia,5,Turkey,2,Tv3,7,Uganda,9,UK,2,UN,2,United States,2,Upcoming,4,USA,6,Vacc,2,Vaccine,4,VehementlyBwoy,1,Video,105,Videos,377,Volta Region,129,Vybz Kartel,2,Water,3,Weapon,5,West Africa,6,WHO,2,Wizkid,1,World Health Organization,4,World News,76,World-Business,54,World-Entertainment,479,World-Music,5,World-Politics,57,World-Sports,98,www.EweGhana.Net,66,Yaa Pono,3,Youth,2,Yvonne Nelson,1,Zambia,2,Zimbabwe,2,
EweGhana.Net Inspiring Our Culture: GARGO: An incredible career of intoxicating high points and tough lows
GARGO: An incredible career of intoxicating high points and tough lows
EweGhana.Net Inspiring Our Culture
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy Table of Content