Germany striker Gerald Asamoah has emotionally called time on his international career insisting he wants to open a hospital in Ghana to help kids with heart problems in his home country.
Asamoah was keen on playing for the Black Stars in the late 1990s but was neglected by coach Guiseppe Dossena when he arrived in the country.
With no interest in his services, Asamoah turned his attention to the German national team and became the first blackman to play for the European country with some successes.
But the forward insists now that the world is extremely unlikely to see Asamoah in a Germany shirt again. “There comes a moment where you have to say your time with the national team has come and gone. I’m 31 and my goal now is success with St. Pauli,” Asamoah told Fifa.com. “You take these things as they come, but right now, I wouldn’t want to say I’d suddenly resume my international career. A number of very good young players are doing exceptionally well for Germany at the moment.”
He has no regrets or wistful feelings when international matches come around, although the player admits there was one particular match where he would have revelled in a role, the third group stage fixture at the 2010 FIFA World Cup between Germany and Ghana. “Of course, I’d have been thrilled to feature in the game between the country where I play and my country of birth. But that’s football, there are some things you don’t get to choose.”
Whatever else may happen, Asamoah is guaranteed a place in the history books. “You’re never going to forget being the first non-white player to appear for Germany, and scoring in my first game too. That memory won’t go away in a hurry,” he said.
Asa, a devout Christian and father of three, has also begun thinking about life after professional football, as he revealed that he wants to help kids in Ghana. “I run a foundation for kids with heart problems. I have a heart defect myself, but I’ve still been able to achieve a few things in life,” Asamoah said. “My hope is to pass something on to these kids and help improve their lives. Ideally, I’d like to open a heart unit in Ghana, so the kids receive medical treatment locally. I’ll do whatever it takes to realise that.”
Asamoah finished as a World Cup runner-up with Germany in 2002, when he appeared in the Final, and was a member of the Germany squad at the 2006 finals, where the host nation finished third.
At club level, the man nicknamed Asa twice won the German Cup with Schalke in a career that has so far yielded 45 goals in 280 Bundesliga appearances, and six in 43 games for his country.