Bologna midfielder Godfred Donsah described how he came to Italy and only managed to see his father again after eight years.
Now 21, the Ghanaian has played at Palermo, Verona, Cagliari and Bologna, but the story began with his father Twaku Tachi.
“If I weren’t a football player, I’d be working in the cacao plantations, just like my parents did,” Donsah told Che Tempo Che Fa.
“I want to thank God, who gave me the opportunity to be here. I grew up in Ghana in absolute poverty, at least until the age of 15, when I tried to make a career for myself as a football player.
“It was my father who decided he would come to Italy to work and send money home and to do it he crossed the desert. During the journey, someone died.
“He managed to get on to a boat and he told me that one of his friends complained about the conditions, so he was thrown overboard. When he got to Lampedusa, he started work picking vegetables.”
By sending money home for Godfred, his mother and three sisters, it gave the young player the opportunity to follow his dream and was spotted by Palermo talent scouts.
“I went to Como and Verona, where thanks to Andrea Mandorlini I made my debut for the senior squad.
“I managed to see my father again eight years later. We didn’t sleep that night. I told him: ‘You got older.’ He replied that I was already grown up.”