Frimpong: NPFL legend reveals he wanted to play for Nigeria over Ghana

Former Enyimba striker Joetex Asamoah Frimpong is known for being one of the best foreign players to grace the Nigerian Professional Football League.

Born in Ghana in 1982, Frimpong moved to Nigeria at a young age and began playing at various academies. He made his start professionally at Nigerian sides Gabros of Nnewi and El-Kanemi, where he became top scorer and earned a move to Enyimba FC.

At Enyimba Frimpong established himself as an elite scorer on the continental level. He scored six goals as Enyimba won the CAF Champions League in 2003 before winning it again in 2004. Aditionally, Frimpong picked up two league titles, one Federation Cup, one Nigeria Super Cup crown and two CAF Super Cup titles.

Frimpong garnered interest from the Nigeria national team scouts as he impressed on the local level. He was reportedly selected to the U23 squad but was kicked off when the coach found out that he was born in Nigeria.

He was eventually persuaded by his father to represent Ghana and got his first cap in 2005, although Frimpong says he never thought he would get a call up to the Black Stars as they tended to pick European based players.

“My call-up came at the right time. In fact, I wasn’t expecting it because when you play for a club in Africa nobody watches you…” he told Bryt FM.

“What I know is that, when you travel outside Ghana to Nigeria or Benin, you are a foreigner but, in our case, people think that when you are in Africa you are still a local player.

“Due to this, I was not expecting any call-up until they called me for U-23. Nigeria too approached me but my dad told me to represent Ghana. I was personally interested to play for Nigeria but it took my dad to convince me.”

Frimpong played for Ghana 11 times, scoring two goals. He was part of the team at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt that got knocked out in the group phase.

He has been in charge of Swiss lower-league side FC Niederbipp since 2014 after retiring from professional football a year earlier.