Christian Atsu on his faith, his dedication to charity work & Rafa Benitez


“Football changed my life completely; sometimes what’s happened seems like a miracle but it’s enabled me to help my community and my family. My faith is the most important thing in my life. I know I’m one of the lucky people God has blessed. I’m very lucky and privileged to be in this position. I had nothing and now I’ve got too much so I have to give something back.

“I donate often, so they can buy food and stuff. At the moment we’re building a school in Ghana. About 300 children will attend, I want everyone to have the chance of education. I survived but I don’t forget.

“My family and I love it here but, even when I go to the beach in the summer, I dare not go in the sea!

“Rafa’s like a father. He encourages me almost every day. Tactically Rafa’s very detailed but he’s not just about tactics and coaching. He’s very good at the human side of management which is so important. Everyone here finds Rafa warm. If you have a problem you can go and speak to him, you can talk to him about anything. He keeps pushing everyone in training every day; he teaches you how to be a professional on and off the pitch.

“It’s very important Rafa stays, Newcastle’s a big club and Rafa’s a great manager, one of the best in the world, one of the few to have won the Champions League. He’s great for this club, with him here, big players will come to Newcastle and we can win trophies. Every point’s very important for us now, the team’s confidence has lifted. Miguel’s very good technically, very quick. We’ve always been very difficult to break down but Miguel will give us something different.”

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