Latif Blessing From 'ball boy' to Ghana Premier League golden boot

Latif Blessing was an embodiment of Liberty’s beautiful game in the first round and now, after forsaking the role Kotoko gave him four years ago, he is walking home with his name boldly written in the pantheon books of Ghana’s domestic football.

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The game had seeped into 70 minutes and Liberty Professionals had taken a giant leap closer to beating relegation drop.

They were 2-0 up and Bechem United were well beaten. However, Abednego Tetteh pulled one back with nineteen minutes to play, and, Liberty began biting their nails in the stands considering results from other venues.

Latif Blessing got the ball deep in his own half and set off, he pierced through with elegance.

There are few finer sights in the Premier League than Blessing in full flow. His speed, grace and power personified.

When Alfred Nelson came out to stop him, Blessing kept his body before him invitingly, and he sent him to the turf.

He got up, and stroked the ball past Patrick Asempa, his third of the day, second hat trick of the season, and Liberty’s 33rd league goal of the season.

There could have been no finer way to reach the landmark.

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More than that, though, it was a symbol of the champagne football that has taken the Dansoman-based brink of their second heart-pumping survival in two successive years. It barricaded them from the python of relegation.

Latif Blessing has been majestic this season. He has scored 17 goals from midfield and imposed his quality on the league.

He was the man for Liberty, he was the man for the league for all reasons: goals, assists, technique, balance, composure, stamina, resilience and nutmegs.

George Lamptey’s No 10 is an entertainer and a team player, a destroyer of defenders who preaches the gospel that the game is about.

Latif Blessing, who, prior to the season, pompously told Ghanaians he is better than Yahaya Mohammed, was an arsenal coaches fumbled to neutralise as he dazzled his way to lifting the golden boot. The elegance with the ball at his feet, the beauty of his passes, and language with his finishes blinks a shining star yet to be paraded in the rainbow.

If the ball had a voice, it would scream for Latif’s name to be scripted on it instead of Mitre.

He was the emblem of Liberty's glory.

And climaxing the season with a hat trick, is a day Latif Blessing will look back and be emotional once more, whilst looking forward to a brighter future.

"It has been difficult campaign, but we have maintained our Premier League status. Winning the golden boot would have been meaningless if we had dropped to second division.

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"I am looking forward to moving abroad. I am looking forward to offers from Spain, Italy and other top leagues in Europe," he said after the game.

His vision is huge, but you can't begrudge him. His adrenaline for success, and mitochondria to withstand the tumultuous period of his talent being over looked for a 'ball boy' at Asante Kotoko could have trampled his dream. But he pulled through, and is hopeful a move abroad will be a success.

But here, he is, an embodiment of Liberty’s beautiful game in the first round and now, after forsaking the role Kotoko gave him four years ago, he is walking home with his name boldly written in the pantheon books of Ghana’s domestic football.

A man can only travel down the road laid before him. And on this road, the former Kotoko 'ball boy' has been stellar.

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