Black Starlets captain Eric Ayiah’s exploits at the ongoing U-17 Africa Cup of Nations will come as no surprise to many now after the budding talent revealed his veneration for Cristiano Ronaldo and Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan.
The 16-year-old has enchanted fans at the on-going African Junior Championship in Gabon with his sublime skills and clinical finishing. He is the leading scorer at the tournament with four goals in two matches, a brace each against Cameroon and Gabon.
Ayiah's second in the first match was likened to Marco van Basten's goal in the 1988 Euro championship against the Soviet Union.
According to Ayiah, who is already in contention to be named most valuable player, he draws inspiration from the experienced duo.
Gyan is Ghana’s all-time leading scorer while Ronaldo has a plethora of goal scoring records to his name including being the leading scorer in Portugal's football history.
''I love strikers and my favorites are Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid; and Asamoah Gyan of Black Stars,'' Ayiah said.
''I like Ronaldo because of his seriousness on the field, he always wants to score and win; and I like Gyan for his fighting spirit and because he is the captain of our national team, Black Stars.''
As the skipper, Ayiah is leading by example with his goals partly the reason why Ghana have qualified for the semi-final stage as well as securing one of the continent’s available four tickets to the forthcoming FIFA U-17 Wold Cup to be hosted in India later this year.
“I’m so happy with our victory against Gabon because it has taken us to the semi-final and the Wold Cup,” he stressed. “It was difficult initially with the crowd cheering on Gabon but coach told us to calm down and we communicated that to ourselves and we got the energy to win.”
After signing off from Port Gentil with two wins in as many matches, Ayiah sounded so confidence about the upcoming last Group A match between Ghana and Guinea on Saturday at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville, saying the Black Starlets want to keep their winning streak.
“No match is easy but I’m sure we can also beat Guinea, and that is what we are going to do,” added, Ayiah who says his staying power is prayers and Ghanaian staple food, Fufu with palm nut soup.
Ayiah is owned by lower division side Charity Stars.