Asamoah Gyan did not create an impressive goal-scoring career in Europe during his peak but Gyan’s scoring prowess in the gulf was absolutely crazy. 123 goals in 123 games. How possible , boy.
After scoring 11 goals in 37 games for Sunderland , Al Ain one of the richest football clubs of UAE were impressed and were convinced in Gyan they have their perfect marquee signing. The deal succeeded after an initial loan spell and in the end the former Ghana captain justified why Al Ain paid about four times his Sunderland salary.
The Gyan impact was immediate. In his first season, 2011/12, the club did not play in the Asian Champions League after failing to qualify for it in the previous season but in the three seasons that followed Al Ain were a constant fixture in the biggest club competition of Asia reaching the Group stage in 2012/13, quarterfinals in the next season and semis in the 2014/15 edition all thanks to the bunch of goals of the former Liberty Professional forward.
He was top-scorer in the 2013/14 Asia Champions League with 12 goals taking his side to the quarterfinals and this season he scored a staggering 44 goals in all events.
When some critics started to downplay this hot form because for them to score such load of goals in a weaker league like UAE was nothing extraordinary, Gyan came to Brazil 2014 to shut them up with some terrific goals against eventual winners Germany and Portugal to become Africa’s record goalscorer – on 7 goals – at the FIFA World Cup.
On 7 July 2015, Gyan confirmed on his own website that he had left Al Ain and set to join Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG after a personal all-time best stint in the UAE hitting 123 goals in as many outings and indeed it was the main reason why the Chinese club paid him a weekly salary of £227,000 to make him one of the world’s best paid football players at that vintage.