Thomas Partey: The midfielder who left Africa in secret to Spain

Sports News of Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Source: bbc.com

2018-11-27

Partey has been a standout performer for Atletico this season

This week BBC Sport will be profiling the five players on the shortlist for BBC African Footballer of the Year. Next up is Thomas Partey, the Atletico Madrid and Ghana midfielder.

When Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey stepped on to the pitch in Lyon during May’s Europa League final, it signified the culmination of a journey from dusty village pitches in Ghana to European football’s top table.

“It’s not easy for a guy like me to come from a background where I had nothing to be at this level,” says the 25-year-old.

“I started in a small village where my father was the team manager. He did a lot of sacrifices which he never told me about. It was him selling his stuff to try and get me those new boots.”

Voting details

Vote closes on 2 December at 20:00 GMT.

The final results will be announced in Focus on Africa on World News and World Service Radio on 14 December, starting at 17.30 GMT.

How to vote for Thomas Partey

Atletico’s defeat of Marseille to win the Europa League was the end of a fine 2017-18 season for the midfielder. He established a first-team spot, starting 28 league games as the Madrid side also finished second in La Liga.

Partey again came off the bench in the final of the Uefa Super Cup in Tallinn in August – an occasion with added spice because Atletico were taking on fierce city rivals Real Madrid.

Partey became the first Ghanaian to feature in a Super Cup and assisted Saul Niguez, who put Atletico ahead. They won 4-2.

“It was a great season because we were second in the league and we won the Europa League and won against Real Madrid in the Super Cup,” Partey says. “I feel great, it’s a dream come true.”

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