Marcel Desailly, a former France defender, has explained why he chose to play for the Le Bleus rather than the Black Stars.
Desailly, born Odenke Abbey, chose France over Ghana despite his Ghanaian roots.
In an exclusive interview with Joy Sports, he never had the opportunity to represent Ghana at the international level because he had established himself in France’s youth national teams.
“I was already a part of the [French] system. “I became a professional at the age of 18/19, and I was allowed to join the French national team, so there was no choice but to consider,” he explained.
He discussed his previous organization, Lizzy’s Sports Complex, and how it was his dream even while he was playing overseas.
“When I was a soccer player, I had the vision and ideas to return to Ghana and settle and develop sports infrastructure.
I knew it was a little low, especially in sports, so I prepared.”
Those plans came true when he constructed the Lizzy Sports Complex, a multi-purpose sports facility in the heart of Ghana’s capital.
However, after nearly a decade, the former AC Milan defender appears to have abandoned his commitment to the facility, claiming that it is not worth investing his resources in.
“After 10 to 11 years of operation, I am a little bit tired,” he stated.
“I had to make a lot of things available to ensure that the service we were providing was true of that calibre.”
Marcel Desailly was linked to the Black Stars coaching job twice between 2009 and 2016. However, it never came to fruition, with many speculating on high financial demands that the country could not meet.
One of the reasons the 1998 FIFA World Cup winner did not coach the senior national team is his dedication to the project.
“I also missed out on the opportunity to coach the Black Stars as a result of this investment.
“I had no choice but to follow through on this investment.” I’m done for the time being. “It isn’t profitable,” he said.
Marcel claims he invested a lot of money each year without recouping much, citing this as one of his reasons for leaving the facility.
“If you want something to last, you need to bring expertise; the sports department alone had about 90 people. Every year, I re-invested my personal funds in the system. So, after ten years, I’ve spent over 1.5 million dollars per year supporting the business to pay off the debt.
“Maintenance of the pitch, salary payment, generator, and others.” That is why no one comes into those children’s services because they are not profitable,” he explained.