This is the story of a player that had Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential, but only amounted to a half forgotten man in Holland!
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie could have been playing at Real Madrid with number 7 on his shirt, while scoring 40+ goals a season.
Yes, he could have been in Cristiano Ronaldo’s “shoes”, but his path had taken him somewhere totally different!
I used to have full on arguments with my Man Utd supporting mate over who was better out of C.Ronaldo & Quincy Owusu-Abeyie. #TeamQuincy
— Quincy Owusu-aBAE (@le_49ers) July 11, 2016
This is a story of a failed potential, and just how much does attitude impact player’s career.
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie was born in Amsterdam to a Ghanaian parents. Not surprisingly, young Quincy got interested in football quite early. He got into Ajax youth teams where he remained for NINE years.
Quincy showed plenty of talent, which got every scout itching for his signature, but he also showed something different. Something that would “destroy” his future career and made him something similar to a “professional traveler”.
BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS AND COMING TO ARSENAL
No one knows what exactly happened, but all of a sudden, Ajax released the player for “behavioral” problems. At the time, most clubs were confused about this release, as Ajax was known to have players who had “big” personalities. I mean they had Zlatan Ibrahimovic, for god sake!
Nevertheless, most clubs backed off from Ghanaian starlet, except for Arsenal.
Liam Brady (Arsenal legend), who was at the time the head of Arsenal youth development, decided to give a chance to a player, that impressed him at the time.
The player signed for Arsenal in 2002.
At first, it looked like a fantastic bit of business, as young Quincy was really impressing in Arsenal youth teams. He scored 17 goals in 20 appearances for Arsenal U-17 team. Coaches at Arsenal were expecting big things from young Ghanaian.
Dark skin and even darker hair, along with a height of 185 cm, he didn’t look that similar to Cristiano Ronaldo. At least not in appearance, but they both had similar technique and potential.
SIMILAR, BUT DIFFERENT TO CRISTIANO RONALDO
Incredibly quick feet, awesome 1 on 1 dribbling skills, along with fantastic pace and athletics’ build. One became arguably the best player in the world, while the other has lingered in the fringes of professional football.
At certain point, both were playing in Premier League, but unlike Ronaldo, Quincy simply couldn’t make the breakthrough in Arsenal team.
— ‘Bisi Oyelade (@bisi_oye) August 27, 2016
Its hard to say why Owusu didn’t play more under Wenger. One guesses it was down to that “behavioral” problems. The same problems for which Ajax released Owusu. There was one bigger incident, in which Owusu was arrested for a fight in PFA awards dinner!
I guess this was also the reason why Wenger decided to buy Emmanuel Adebayor and very young Theo Walcott.
LEAVING ARSENAL FOR RUSSIA
Owusu saw both players as too much of a competition and he left Arsenal. Although Wenger didn’t want to let go of him, but he went, anyway (to Russia). Who knows, Quincy might became one of the best players in the planet, if he would have stayed at Arsenal, but he didn’t.
Spartak Moscow was the next step in Quincy’s career.
— Arsenal Report (@ArsenalReport) January 31, 2016
A very weird step in a professional’s player career, basically a crazy step for someone of Quincy’s potential.
Later, the player confessed that leaving Arsenal was mistake, but Owusu made a lot more career mistakes than just leaving Arsenal.
He did manage to play at Spartak for a season, before realizing he made a “Russian” error. He spent the next three years at Spartak, mostly on loan at other clubs.
The first loan was at Celta Vigo, where still (quite) young Quincy Owusu-Abeyie impressed again. He made an odd friendship with, at the time unknown, Diego Costa. This friendship was based on hand signals. Yes, hand signals, as they simply didn’t understand each other.
Owusu’s “behavior” started causing problems again. I mean, he was branded as a bad influence on Diego Costa, of all people.
REACHING TOP WITH CELTA AND GHANA
His time at Celta Vigo was probably the most productive in his career, because he also managed to play for Ghana in Africa Cup of nations, where he really impressed with his performances. Sadly, this was the best it got for Quincy, and his career basically took a nose dive after this period.
After Spain adventure, Owusu returned to England, first to Birmingham City, where he had an average half a season, than to Cardiff City, where he had a poor second half of a season, and than to Portsmuth, where he had a completely forgettable season.
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie went to Quatar than, but quickly signed for Malaga (in Spain) on loan.
Malaga was than highly ambitious, as new “oil” owners tried to compete with Real and Barcelona, and they saw Owusu as someone that could help the club. Quincy did have a solid season there, but nothing special, and he left the club after a year.
STEP DOWN TO GREECE
Quincy made a real step down as he signed for Panathinaikos in Greece. It was to be the longest stint in Quincy’s career, which was strange given that Quincy was quite old at the time. He stayed at Panathinaikos for three years. First season was kind of solid, second one was bad, and the third was almost non-existent.
— Martyn Bishop (@MartynBCFC) April 24, 2016
Quincy barely found a club, after he left Panathinaikos. His next destination was at Boavista in Portugal. He played just 7 matches for Portuguese club, before quitting and returning to Holland. He signed for a club called NEC Nijmegen.
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie is still not that old, at 30 years of age. A player of his potential should be playing a key role in one of the top clubs in Europe, but Quincy can’t even play for small club in Holland.
It looks like Ajax knew what they were doing when they released the player all those years ago. Like they knew that he didn’t have the right attitude to make use of his talent.
Quincy is a perfect example of a player with the right talent, the right skill and the right physical attributes, but the wrong attitude. This is also probably the real difference between him and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo was working hard week in week out, he still does, but Owusu just didn’t care enough. Too bad as there might be a another player alongside Messi and Ronaldo, one that would represent Africa, and not just Europe and America.