Ghana’s Paintsil retires from football

Ghana World Cup star John Paintsil, who last played in the South African Absa Premiership for Maritzburg United, has announced his retirement from football.

The 35-year-old defender, who went to the 2006 and 2010 World Cups with the Black Stars and played in the premier league in England, made the announcement via social media.

“John Paintsil the Jeonju Man will like to announce my retirement from being a soccer player.” I thank God for bringing me this far. Was a long journey from 1999 to 2016. 2 world cups and 5 Afcon and 89 CAPS FOR GHANA.”

Paintsil started his professional football career in Ghana with Berekum Arsenal before joining Liberty Professionals.

He left Ghana in 2002 to play in Israel where he was a firm fan favourite and famously waved the Israeli flag after success at the World Cup in Germany, earning him a public rebuke.

After Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv, he had stints with West Ham United, Fulham and Leicester City before going back to Israel for a season.

Paintsil arrived in South Africa, playing for Santos in the National First Division before going to Maritzburg where he played 27 games in the 2014-15 season but only five starts before agreeing a termination of his contract.

The veteran defender has been capped 88 times by the Ghana national team.