Sports News of Thursday, 17 May 2018
Black Stars midfielder Thomas Partey, on Wednesday night, celebrated his first major career silverware after Atletico Madrid won the Europa League final.
Despite playing a vital role in Atleti’s route to the final, Partey was restricted to just three minutes in Lyon as the Spanish side defeated Marseille 3-0.
It was Atleti’s third Europa League trophy in nine years which means Partey has joined an exclusive list of Ghanaian players who have won a European trophy.
The 24-year-old, born in Odumase Krobo, has become only the seventh player to do so.
Three-time African best Abedi Pele opened the doors in 1993 when he contributed heavily to Olympique Marseille’s maiden and only Uefa Champions League triumph.
Now Black Stars assistant coach Ibrahim Tanko followed in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund.
Defender Sammy Kuffour performed a yeoman’s job as the Bayern Munich beat Valencia in 2001.
The following year Tema-born, Christian Attah Gyan, featured in the final as Feyenoord beat Borussia Dortmund to win the Uefa Cup – now Europa League.
Eight years later, Sulley Muntari also achieved the illustrious feat with Inter Milan before Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien in 2012.
Since then Kwadwo Asamoah – 2015 and 2017 – and Partey, 2016 – tried to no avail until last night when Partey redeemed himself.
It’s very fitting that Partey has lifted the cup in by far his best season since moving to Spain in 2012.
He has been one of Atletico Madrid’s most consistent players with 50 appearances in all competitions scoring five goals.