- Jul 11, 2011
Full name: André Morgan Rami Ayew
Date of birth: 17 December 1989
Place of birth: Seclin, France
Height: 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position: Winger/Forward
André Morgan Rami Ayew is a Ghanaian football player who currently plays for French club Marseille in Ligue 1. He is often referred to as simply Dédé. Ayew plays as a winger, but can play as a striker. He is the second-born son of the three-time winner of the African Footballer of the Year award and FIFA 100 member Abedi Pele and has two other brothers, Ibrahim and Jordan, who also play football.
Ayew began his career in his home country of Ghana playing for Nania. He made his debut for the club at age 14. In 2005, he signed with his father's former club, Marseille, and spent two seasons in the club's youth academy before making his debut for the club in the 2007–08 season. In the following two seasons, Ayew played on loan with Lorient and Arles-Avignon helping the latter team earn promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time. In 2010, Ayew returned to Marseille and became an integral part of the first team under manager Didier Deschamps.
Though born in France, Ayew is a Ghanaian international. At youth level, he starred for the under-20 team that won both the 2009 African Youth Championship and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. At senior level, Ayew made his debut on 21 August 2007 against Senegal at the New Den Stadium in London. He has since represented his nation at the 2008 and 2010 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Ayew was born in Seclin, a commune in the arrondissement of Lille, to a Ghanaian mother and father. His father, Abedi Pele, was a professional football player and was playing for French club Lille at the time. His father comes from a strong football family. Ayew is the nephew of Kwame Ayew and Sola Ayew, both of whom are former international football players. Ayew also has two brothers; Ibrahim and Jordan, and a sister, Imani. Ibrahim formerly played for Egyptian club Zamelek, he currently plays at Belgian side Lierse SK and Jordan stars alongside Ayew at Marseille.
Ayew made his professional debut for Marseille on 15 August 2007 in a league match against Valenciennes coming on as a substitute for Modeste M'bami in the 89th minute. Marseille lost the match 2–1. On 6 November, he made his UEFA Champions League debut against Portuguese champions Porto at the Estádio do Dragão playing on the left wing in place of Bolo Zenden. Ayew played 77 minutes before being substituted out as Marseille were defeated 2–1, however Ayew earned praise from the media for his effective performance of containing Porto right back José Bosingwa. Five days later, Ayew earned his first league start against Lyon at the Stade de Gerland. Ayew again featured heavily in the team as Marseille pulled off a 2–1 upset victory. Ayew finished the season with 13 total appearances; nine in league play, two in cup play, and two Champions League appearances. Ayew's first season with the club drew the attention of Premier League club Arsenal who reportedly offered Marseille £5 million for the player.However, Marseille denied the approach.
For the 2008–09 season, Ayew switched to the number 8 shirt, however, due to the arrival of attackers Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Wiltord, Bakari Koné, and Mamadou Samassa, Ayew was deemed surplus to requirements for the season and was loaned out to fellow first division club Lorient for the entire season. Ayew was inserted by manager Christian Gourcuff as one of the team's focal points of the attack alongside Fabrice Abriel, Kevin Gameiro, and Rafik Saïfi and made his debut on 16 August 2008 coming on as a substitute in a 0–0 draw against Lyon. On 27 September 2008, Ayew scored his first professional goal after netting the opener in the team's 1–1 draw with Sochaux. A month later, he scored his second career goal in a 4–1 rout of Saint-Étienne. Despite the initial success, Ayew was limited throughout the league campaign to just appearing as a substitute. He finished the season with 22 league appearances and three goals and, on 30 June 2009, returned to Marseille.
Two months later, on 31 August 2009, the last day of the transfer window, new manager Didier Deschamps confirmed that Ayew would be joining newly promoted Ligue 2 club AC Arles-Avignon on loan for the entire 2009–10 season. Ayew was given the number 10 shirt on arrival and was inserted into his favorable right wing position. He made his debut with the club on 11 September appearing as a substitute in a 1–1 draw with Angers. The following week, he scored his first goal for the club in a 4–2 defeat to Tours. He was ever present in the team's fall campaign, but due to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, missed the month of January. Ayew returned to the team on 5 February 2010 and appeared as a starter in all of the team's matches for the rest of the campaign. On 9 April, with the team in the midst of a promotion battle, Ayew scored a double in the team's 2–1 victory over Le Havre. The following week, he struck again scoring the opener in the team's 1–1 draw with Guingamp. On 14 May, Arles-Avignon secured promotion to Ligue 1 following the team's 1–0 win over Clermont. Ayew started and played the entire match. He finished the campaign with Arles-Avignon appearing in 26 total matches and scoring four goals.
Return to Marseille
After the successful league campaign with Arles-Avignon, on 16 May 2010, Marseille manager Didier Deschamps confirmed that Ayew would be returning to the team and that he will be earning some significant playing time with the club for the 2010–11 season. On 5 August, Ayew signed a three-year contract extension with Marseille. The new deal keeps him at the club until June 2014. Despite the arrival of Loïc Rémy, Ayew was inserted as a starter by Deschamps and scored his first goal in the second league match of the season against Valenciennes in a 3–2 defeat. Following the international break in September, he scored a double against his former club Arles-Avignon in a 3–0 win. In the Coupe de la Ligue, Ayew scored goals in victories over Guingamp and Monaco in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, respectively. On 20 November, he scored the only goal in a victory over Toulouse. Ayew scored the goal two minutes from time. On 27 April 2011, Ayew scored his first professional hat-trick in a 4–2 victory over Nice. His younger brother, Jordan, converted the other goal for Marseille in the win. Because of his outstanding performances throughout the season, Ayew was nominated for Ligue 1 Young Player of the Season, along with Marvin Martin and Yann M'Vila. Andre Dede Ayew was voted Marseille Best Player for the season 2010-2011.
Ayew was named in the squad for the 2011 Trophée des Champions match against Lille OSC held on 27 July 2011 at the Stade de Tanger in Morocco.He scored a hat-trick, including two 90th minute penalties, ensuring Marseille an incredible 5-4 victory.
Due to having dual French-Ghanaian citizenship, Ayew was eligible for both France and Ghana. He, initially, chose France citing the failed inquiries of the Ghana Football Association to contact him as his reason why, but declared Ghana to be his first option citing his father. Ayew was, subsequently, called up and participated in a training camp with the France under-18 team. In 2007, he turned down several offers to play for the country's under-21 team. Ayew later warned the Ghana Football Association that he was on the verge of representing France at international level stating "At this moment there is only one choice to make because I have only received an invitation from one country and that is France". On 7 August 2007, Ayew was called up for the first time by Ghana coach Claude Le Roy for the team's friendly match against Senegal on 21 August. He made his international debut in the match appearing as a late-match substitute. On 11 January 2008, Ayew was named to the Ghana squad to play in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
At youth level, Ayew represented Ghana at under-20 level and captained the team to victory at both the 2009 African Youth Championship and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. At the African Youth Championship, Ayew scored two goals against Cameroon in the group stage and South Africa in the semi-finals. The 4–3 semi-final result progressed Ghana to the final where the team defeated group stage opponents Cameroon 2–0. The championship victory resulted in the team qualifying for the ensuing U-20 World Cup. In the tournament, Ayew scored twice against England in a 4–0 rout and the equalizing goal against South Africa in the Round of 16. Ghana later won the match in extra time through a goal from Dominic Adiyiah. Ayew then captained the team to victories over the Korea Republic and Hungary in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively, to reach the final where they faced Brazil. In the final, Ghana defeated the Brazilians 4–3 on penalties to win the U-20 World Cup. Ayew converted Ghana's first penalty in the shootout.
Ayew made his second major international tournament appearance by appearing at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations. On 19 January 2010, in the team's final group stage match against Burkina Faso, he scored his first international goal in 30th minute connecting on a header. Ghana won the match 1–0 and reached the final where they were defeated 1–0 by Egypt. Ayew appeared in all five matches the team contested. On 7 May 2010, Ayew was named to coach Milovan Rajevac's 30-man preliminary squad to participate in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He was later named to the 23-man team to compete in the competition alongside his brother Ibrahim. On 12 June, Ayew made his FIFA World Cup debut in the team's opening group stage match against Serbia starting ahead of the much more experienced Sulley Muntari. He later started in the team's ensuing group stage matches against Australia and Germany. In the team's Round of 16 match against the United States, Ayew assisted on the game-winning goal scored by Asamoah Gyan after sending a lob pass into the United States defense, which Gyan collected and then converted. For his performance in the match, Ayew was named Man of the Match by FIFA. Ayew missed the team's quarter-final defeat on penalties to Uruguay due to yellow card accumulation.