Goal.com's Kent Mensah looks at the striker who has taken Africa's premier club competition by storm and reveals the reasons behind the 24-year-old’s successBy Kent Mensah
Ghana international Emmanuel Clottey has goal-scoring prowess in his genes. The forward's lethal strikes in the 2012 Caf Champions League have compelled several European clubs to revise their transfer notes as the window draws to a close.
The 24-year-old has 11 goals to his name, including two hat-tricks in the elite continental club competition, and has set a target of 18 goals before the tournament reaches its finale.
"It's always good to have a goal in life," Clottey told Goal.com Ghana. "I believe I can reach that target and I have always been training towards that. I have always believed in myself and with God all things are possible."
|EMMANUEL CLOTTEY | Berekum Chelsea
The striker has been exceptional in his side's debut appearance in the continent's flagship tournament, despite being drawn in the 'Group of Death' alongside former champions Zamalek and Al Ahly of Egypt, as well as four-time winners TP Mazembe of DR Congo.
His goal-scoring proficiency and fighting spirit have helped Berekum Chelsea survive in a competition in which Ghana's two main clubs – Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko – have recently struggled to make an impact. The last time a Ghanaian side reached the business end of the Caf Champions League was six years ago.
And Clottey hopes his exploits can attract attention to Ghana's poorly-funded and largely-ignored smaller clubs.
"We have a lot of players in Division One and Two who are doing very well, but nobody is paying attention to them. All they need is a little push and you'll see the wonders they can do. I come from there so I know how it feels. That's what has motivated me up to this stage. I'm proud of my roots."
At the age of 12, Clottey joined Brazil Academy, a youth club in Accra, where he played for the Under-14 side. He then spent 2001 to 2004 at Mighty Victory Sporting Club, another junior outfit, where he sharpened his goal-scoring instincts. While at Mighty Victory, the 15-year-old Clottey won the 'goal king' accolade in the 2003-04 Under-17 campaign.
His deadly strikes at such a young age shot him to fame and he earned immediate promotion to the Ghana Premier League when he signed with Great Olympics in 2004 as a 16-year-old. In the 2006-07 season he finished as top scorer, with 14 goals from 21 appearances for the Wonder Club.
Hat-trick Hero | Clottey has shone in his debut Caf Champions League season
His brilliant output caught the eye of Austrian side Wacker Innsbruck and Danish club Odense. However, after unsuccessful spells on loan with both clubs he returned to the Ghana top flight and signed for Eleven Wise. He moved to Tema Youth in 2010 before joining his current side, the Blues.
Clottey, who was recently named Goal.com's 166th World Player of the Week, has played pivotal roles for Ghana's national team at various age groups, from Black Satellites (Under-20), Black Meteors (Under-23) and finally the senior Black Stars side.
"It's a dream come true, but I still believe I have more to give. I'm taking it easy and I'd like to ask all those who have supported me up to this stage to still have me in their prayers. I'm most grateful for the World Player of the Week prize from Goal.com. It serves as a great source of motivation," the goal-scoring machine acknowledged.
With his sights set firmly on a starting berth with the national team, the 24-year-old also hopes to again play abroad and further his career. However, before that happens, he will continue to take the 2012 Caf Champions League by storm.
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