Ghanaian-born, former France football captain, Marcel Desailly, has noted with regret the continuous lack of education among the current generation African players, adding that this lack of education is the main reason most African footballers are unable to fulfil their true and full potential.
To him, every profession has its own challenges and as a footballer, “you need have a base of education to be able to face the professionalism challenge.”
“If you are not educated, you will feel that as soon as you have a small success, you will go crazy and you are not ready to work more to get to the next level,” he told GhanaWeb’s Sports Check host, Daniel Oduro.
The two-time UEFA Champions League winner and FIFA World Cup winner stated that most players do the academies and do not consider the education side of the football.
“They just train the boys and try to sell them but once the boy goes abroad, what is the education for him to understand and read and see forward what is the challenge coming for him” he reiterated.
Desailly, who opted to play for France instead of Ghana, made his international debut in 1993 but was not established as a first choice defender until 1996.
He was an important part of the French team which won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, albeit being sent off in the final match. Like other team members, he was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur in 1998.
Two years later success continued, as France won Euro 2000. After the tournament, Desailly was made the captain of the national team, following the retirement of Didier Deschamps. In 2001, he led France to victory in the Confederations Cup.
In April 2003, Desailly surpassed the record for the number of appearances for the French team, a number which eventually reached 116 when he announced his retirement from international football following 2004 UEFA European Football Championship. However, that record was broken during the 2006 FIFA World Cup by Lilian Thuram.
Marcel Desailly currently manages the magnificent Lizzy Sports Complex in East Legon, Accra where they train young, talented footballers.