Dominic Adiyiah was the runaway standout at last year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, where he was named the best player and also finished top scorer as Ghana became the first African side to win the title. His performance in the tournament’s seven matches, where he scored eight goals, not only won him a place a few months later in Ghana’s senior squad for the 2010 CAF Africa Cup of Nations finals in Angola but it also earned him a lucrative move to Italian club giants AC Milan. To crown a heady few months, Adiyiah managed to play a few minutes in the final of the Nations Cup against Egypt in Luanda at the end of January and then was named Africa’s best young player for 2009.
A product of the Feyenoord academy in Ghana, Adiyiah made a senior debut at 17, playing for Hearts of Lion and in his first season earned the award as the most exciting newcomer in the Ghanaian Premier League. He did a round of trials across Europe and Africa but failed to impress some of the bigger clubs, and in the end was picked up for a lowly fee of some 100,000 British pounds by Fredrikstad. His return for the Norwegian club was negligible with no goals in just eight appearances, allowing Adiyiah plenty of time to travel back to Africa to help Ghana qualify and then prepare for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
With his eight goals en route to the final and a decisive penalty in the sudden-death shoot-out win over Brazil in the final, Egypt 2009 was certainly a competition to remember for the striker and the launch pad for a career Adiyiah has previously told FIFA.com he wants to achieve. "I'm following in the footsteps of the likes of (Argentina greats Lionel) Messi, (Javier) Saviola and (Sergio) Aguero and I want to emulate their careers - and I'll work hard to do that. I'm preparing to get to the top," he has said.