Ben Koufie told me I had an automatic spot in the Black Stars – Abdul Razak

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Abdul Razak ‘Golden Boy’, the 1978 African Footballer of the Year has disclosed that Ben Koufie who gave him his first Black Stars call-up told him he was an automatic member of the senior male national football team of Ghana when he was still a teenager.

In an exclusive interview with Pulse Ghana, Abdul Razak has disclosed that he got a national team call-up at a time he was a teenager after just four games for Kumasi Corners Stones in the Ghanaian topflight league.

“I started playing Corners while at St. Cyprians Anglican School at Asem in Kumasi. I quite remember that I used to pass through a fenced wire mesh from my school to Asem Park to train with Corners Stones,” he told Pulse Ghana.

“I got a call-up to the Black Stars after just four games for Corners Stones in the league in 1972 when I was a teenager. Ben Koufie who was the Black Stars coach at the time told me something that I will never forget. He told me, Razak you are an automatic member of the Black Stars, so whether your name appears or not pick up your boot and come for national team camping.

Abdul Razak disclosed how he was named the Golden Boy in 1975.

“I was the youngest person in the Black Stars team back then. But I managed to break into the team,” Razak told Pulse Ghana.

“I quite remember in the qualifiers for the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations in 1975 Ghana had to play several games. In a home game against Mali, we defeated Mali 4-0 and on that day I put up one of the best performances of my career. I crowned a good display with two goals and on that day I was unstoppable.

“The best commentator in Ghana at the time Harry Thompson who was working for the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) was thrilled with the class I showed on the field, so nicknamed me, the ‘Golden Boy’.

“It was on the lips of every Ghanaian after the game and various commentator continued to call me by that name.

“And during the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations, the name ‘Golden Boy’ became more popular when I scored the goal that handed Ghana the qualification to the final against Tunisia and because it was a Golden Goal commentator dubbed it the Golden Boy scores the Golden Goal. I subsequently won the Best Player of the Tournament.

“All these happened before I was named the 1978 African Footballer of the Year.”

Razak joined Kumasi Asante Kotoko in 1975, before his move to New York Cosmos

The 63-year-old Abdul Karim Razak was the second Ghanaian player after Ibrahim Sunday to win the African Footballer of the Year award.

The African Footballer of the Year award is also called the Ballon D’Or, which was the African version of the Ballon d’Or which was solely for European players before it was extended to include players from other continents.

The African Footballer of the Year was instituted by the France Football Magazine (the organisers of the Ballon d’Or) before CAF took over in 1993.

The 64-year-old aside his prowess on the field of play has excelled as a coach, he won four league titles for Malian giants Stade Malian and he also became the first coach to win the Ghana Premier League for Kotoko in 2003.

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