I retired ‘prematurely’ because of Ex-Fulham Mark Hughes – John Paintsil

The former Ghanaian full-back narrates the unpleasant experience he had under the Welsh manager at Craven Cottage

Former Ghana international John Paintsil has admitted that pressure from former Fulham boss Mark Hughes led to his departure from the club and retire “prematurely”.

The 38-year old joined the Cottagers from West Ham in 2008 under the watch of Roy Hodgson and made 91 competitive appearances.

He was an integral part of the Fulham side that reached the 2010 Europa League final where they lost to Atletico Madrid in extra time, but beating the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus Wolfsburg and Hamburg on the way.

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Hodgson left after that successful 2009-10 season and in came Mark Hughes but the relationship with Paintsil never went well as it did with Hodgson.

“When I joined Fulham in 2008 I was supposed to seal a four-year permanent deal with them but unfortunately for me, Roy Hodgson who brought me to the club left immediately after the 2010 world cup and I had to lift up my game to catch the eye and attention of the new manager Mark Hughes,“ Paintsil told Accra-based radio station, Kasapa FM .

“I remember my first day at training after the World Cup I confronted Mark Hughes about my contract and to find out whether he had plans for me but he told me to give him two weeks to make a decision many days and months past but he was still procrastinating and this was causing me severe despondency and dejection.

“In fact, I lost my mental strength and I began to score own goals. In one of those moments I scored four own goals in a month and this is unusual of me and this even got me thinking about retiring from the game.

“I believe I retired prematurely from football because of what I experienced at Fulham under Mark Hughes.”

Paintsil left Fulham at the end of the 2010-2011 season and joined Leicester City. It was not a successful stint with just six league appearances.

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He had a short spell in Israel with Hapoel Tel Aviv before moving to South Africa to play for Santos and finally Maritzburg United where he retired in 2016.

Paintsil began his career in Ghana with Berekum Arsenal and Liberty Professionals before moving to Israel to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel and then to England with West Ham in 2006.

He represented Ghana 89 times, playing at five Africa Cup of Nations (2002, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013) and two World Cups (2006 and 2010).

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