(born 29 November 1982) is a Ghanaian footballer
who plays for Lyon
as a defender
, although he spent the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons on loan at Sunderland
Born in Obuasi
, Mensah is a product of the scouting system in Ghana that identifies talented youngsters long before they enter any formal structures and exports them to potential fame and fortune in Europe.
A centre-half by choice, Mensah is also adept at right-back and has played in both positions for his national side, also captaining the team on occasions. His physique has earned him the moniker the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’, and Mensah was considered a certainty to be named in the Black Stars’ squad for the 2006 World Cup
The defender’s first foreign adventure was as a teenager, when he moved to Italy to join Bologna
. The Serie A
outfit recognised his talent, but also saw that his was potential in its rawest form and, as such, loaned him to Swiss side AC Bellinzona
, where it was hoped that he would hone his talents. Mensah's lack of speed was the reason many scouts overlooking his talent but he has shown great positioning and awareness.
The arrangement proved beneficial to both clubs and also to the player himself, and it was during his time in Switzerland that Mensah was called up for the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship
in Argentina, where Ghana finished as runners-up to the host nation in the tournament.
The following season, he returned to Serie B
on loan with Genoa
before... Read More