The average African Football player dreams of entering the European football scene irrespective of the club he will play for. To him, this offers an escape route from the various difficulties related to playing on the local terrain.
For the few bold ones, they choose to harbor big dreams to not just enter the European scene but also don the colors of their favorite clubs like Barcelona Real Madrid, Manchester United, AC Milan, Liverpool, Bayern Munich etc.
In Ghana, we’ve had examples in Stephen Appiah (Juventus), Samuel Osei-Kuffour (Bayern Munich), Michael Essien (Chelsea, Real Madrid & AC Milan), Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan & AC Milan) all doing this.
One name, conspicuously missing from this list is Laryea Kingston. The talented midfielder who played locally for Hearts of Oak did secure a move to Europe; however, he has revealed in an interview that he was unable to achieve his dream of joining his favorite club, FC Barcelona.
Once a well-known name on the scene for his footballing talents, Kingston was also known for missing out on perhaps the biggest things in his career.
A red card and subsequent suspension slapped on him during the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations meant he couldn’t play any part in Ghana’s maiden FIFA World Cup adventure in 2006 albeit he had played a prominent part in the qualification process.
Subsequently, he was not selected for the next edition in 2010, with concerns raised about forma and age (quite unfortunately).
In an interview with Kumasi-based Silver 98.3 FM, Kingston has also let his followers in on another opportunity that perhaps never came.
He told the SportsNet show on Silver FM of how as a boy he always had the dream of traveling abroad with his footballing talents and playing in a Barcelona jersey.
“In this world, you have a team that is dear to your heart that when you travel to Europe you want to play for, mine was Barcelona but it never materialized, “ Kingston told Silver FM.
“When I went to Europe, my target was to work hard and get a chance to play for Barcelona because their style of play suited me,” the former Ghana international revealed.
That dream never happened but Kingston takes consolation from the fact that, he got the opportunity to face his dream club. While at Scottish outfit, Heart of Midlothian, Kingston played in a pre-season friendly against the Spanish Giants.
“I had the opportunity to play against them and had the feeling a bit”, he noted.
In his playing days, Kingston represented several European clubs namely Lokomotiv Moscow, Heart of Midlothian, Vitesse Arnhem, Maccabi Ahi Nazareth, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Krylia Sovetov Samara and Terek Grozny.
He also played for Hearts of Oak and Great Olympics on the local scene.