7:13 AM PST, November 25, 2021
The manager of Italian soccer club AS Roma has gifted his 18-year-old wonderkid player a pair of very expensive Balenciaga sneakers after promising the young star the footwear if he scored a goal.
Jose Mourinho made good on his word after Ghanaian international Felix Afena-Gyan came off the bench and scored two rapid-fire goals within 10 minutes, giving Roma the 2-0 victory over Genoa Sunday.
On Monday, Mourinho called the 18-year-old into the locker room and presented him with a shiny gold bag where the sneakers, valued at $900, were inside.
“I’m extremely delighted. Grateful to Mister,” Afena-Gyan wrote on Twitter after posting footage of him getting the kicks.
Following the game Sunday, Mourinho, never one to keep anything to himself, told the world his plans.
“I had promised to buy Felix the boots he really likes, which are really expensive, they cost €800, so he ran over and told me not to forget! Tomorrow morning, the first thing I do is buy him the boots,” Mourinho told Italian sports outlet DAZN Sunday night.
Mourinho praised the teen’s cool and calm demeanor in front of the net as well, which led to the two rocket goals.
“What impressed me the most was his cool head in front of goal. If he is not in terms of technique fantastic, he does have a strong mentality,” he told DAZN. “You get these kids now who think they know everything, but he is humble and you can sense he just absorbs all this information from everyone around him. That’s fantastic.
“Felix has this type of intensity, he presses the opposition, forces them to make mistakes and gave a different intensity to the side,” he added.
Afena-Gyan dedicated his win Sunday to his mother.
“I LOVE YOU MUM @juliet_adubea. Your prayers keep me going. This is for You,” he wrote on Twitter.
His mom, Juliet Adubea, replied saying, “I LOVE U SON Can’t thank God enough’ u ‘re a HEROE IM really proud of u God bless u so very much once again ‘I LOVE u MORE.”
Afena-Gyan had not played professionally before joining Roma in 2021. He was still playing schoolboy football in Ghana in 2019 then the pandemic hit and slowed down his gameplay before scouts from the Italian team noticed his ability and signed him for the youth team where Mourinho really took notice of his ability.
Sunday was the teenager’s third appearance for the club this season. Following his performance, he was named “Man of the Match.”
Afena-Gyan’s second goal of the match is being hailed as one of the best of the season.