Asamoah Gyan (pronounced [æsæˈmoʊˌɑː ˌdʒjɑːn], ə-sah-MOH-ah J-yahn, born 22 November 1985 in Accra) is a Ghanaian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Al Ain of the UAE Pro-League and captains the Ghanaian national team.
Gyan began his career in 2003 with Ghanaian Premier League club Liberty Professionals scoring a prolific ten goals in sixteen matches then spent three seasons with Serie A club Udinese via two seasons loan at Modena netting on fifteen occasions in fifty-three league matches and at Udinese where he netted the goal eleven times in thirty-nine league matches. In 2008, Gyan joined Ligue 1 club Rennes netting the goal fourteen times in forty-eight league matches during two seasons. In 2010, Gyan joined Premier League club Sunderland breaking the club's transfer record and netted the goal on ten occasions in thirty-four Premier League matches during two seasons. In 2011, Gyan joined Al Ain of the UAE Pro-League on loan and become the league's top-goalscorer netting the goal prolifically twenty-four times in twenty-seven matches. In the following season, Gyan permanently joined Al Ain and once again became the league's top-goalscorer while he helped Al Ain retain the UAE Pro-League title netting the goal prolifically twenty-eight times in thirty-two matches. In 2013–14 season, Gyan prolifically netted the goal on forty occasions in forty-four matches with Al Ain.
Gyan represented Ghana at the 2006 World Cup scoring the fastest goal of the tournament after 68 seconds, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, scoring three goals in 2010, and also missing a crucial penalty kick in the last minute of extra-time in a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Uruguay. In 2014, at the 2014 World Cup Gyan became the top African goalscorer in the history of the World Cup.
Gyan is the all-time leading goalscorer of the Ghana national football team nicknamed Black Stars, and Gyan has represented Ghana at the 2004 Summer Olympics and in 5 Africa Cup of Nations in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013 finishing third-place at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations and runner-up at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations then fourth-place twice in a row at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Having signed for Udinese in 2003 from Ghanaian club Liberty Professionals located in Accra, Gyan spent two years on loan at Serie B club Modena to gain match experience. Following some excellent displays during the 2006 World Cup, he attracted interest from Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow. Gyan returned to Udinese at the start of 2006, but on 17 February 2007, Udinese pulled out of a deal to sell him in the January transfer window. The striker was on the verge of signing a 3-year deal with Russian Club Lokomotiv Moscow for US$10.5 million, the fourth largest transfer fee in Russian football history. "The striker Udinese targeted to replace me did not sign for them," Gyan told BBC Sport. "I've been told I will now have to stay in Italy for the rest of the season."
On 10 August 2007, along with Fabio Quagliarella, Gyan signed an improved 5-year contract extension to stay at Udinese until 30 June 2012 as a reward for his fine form in the 2007–08 pre-season. "I have decided to stay here because it is one of the top leagues in the world," Asamoah said, "There is the possibility of me playing regular football here to make me a better player. "I am comfortable with the new deal and I know I can help Udinese achieve things for the future". Gyan and Quagliarella marked their contract extensions with a brace each in Udinese's 7–0 friendly win later that evening.
On 29 July 2007 following his impressive pre-season form, including a hat-trick in a friendly against Serie B outfit Spezia on 25 July, before Udinese sealed the long term deal. Gyan scored 8 goals in 2006–07 to help the Stadio Friuli club finish in 10th place in Serie A.
Gyan was dogged by injury during the 2007–08 season and never appeared for Udinese again after January 2008, having played only 13 Serie A matches and scored 3 times that season.
On 11 July 2008, Gyan was signed by French Ligue 1 Club Stade Rennais for 4 years on an €8 million transfer fee. Gyan played 48 times for Rennes, scoring 14 goals. By the end of his stay at Rennes, he became a well known goal scoring figure, scoring 13 league goals in the 2009–10 season. However, Gyan only played three games in Ligue 1 the following season, taking his total appearances to 53, before he departed for Sunderland.
On 31 August 2010, Gyan signed for Premier League club Sunderland on a four-year deal for record £13 million. Gyan was later given the squad number 33 shirt at Sunderland. He scored on his Sunderland debut against Wigan Athletic on 11 September after coming on as a substitute for Danny Welbeck. The match ended in a 1–1 draw with Antolín Alcaraz scoring Wigan's equaliser. He marked his first start for Sunderland by netting their only goal in their League Cup exit at the hands of West Ham United. Gyan scored twice on his first Premier League start for the club in a 2–0 win against Stoke City on 6 November. His first goal came in the 9th minute when a Nedum Onuoha shot was parried by goalkeeper Asmir Begović, with Gyan on hand to tap home the rebound and his second came in the 86th minute, to secure a 2–0 victory for the Black Cats. Three days later, he followed this up by scoring the equaliser against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in a 1–1 draw as Sunderland moved up to seventh in the table. He also scored a goal in Sunderland's 3–0 victory at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea. Gyan scored Sunderland's third goal in their 3–0 victory over Blackburn Rovers on 1 January 2011. On 16 January 2011, he started against local rivals Newcastle United, scoring a 94th minute equaliser, preventing Newcastle gaining their second win of the season against Sunderland. Gyan added to his impressive goalscoring tally with a goal away at Stoke City on 5 February 2011. He scored an 11th minute goal against Tottenham on 12 February 2011. Gyan's next goal came on 23 April as Sunderland beat Wigan Athletic 4–2, a match which ended prematurely for the forward as he was substituted following a hamstring injury which is expected to see him miss the remainder of the season. Gyan did recover in time to feature in Sunderland's last game of the season at West Ham but didn't add to his tally finishing his first season in English football with 10 league goals. Gyan took the squad number 3 shirt for the 2011–12 season, the same squad number he wears for Ghana.
On 10 September 2011, it was confirmed on the Sunderland website that Gyan would leave on a season long loan to club Al Ain FC. Amid speculation of a fee of up to £6 million being paid for the loan period, with Gyan receiving up to four times his previous salary, Chairman Niall Quinn emphasised the financial benefits of the deal for both Sunderland and the player. The Ghanaian finished the season with Al Ain by helping them capture their tenth league success and was the top goalscorer in the season with 22 league goals.
When Martin O'Neill became manager of Sunderland on 8 December 2011, he considered the possibility of recalling Gyan from his loan spell away from the club.
Gyan signed a five-year contract with Al Ain on 6 July 2012 worth over £6m per season. He was the top goalscorer in the UAE league in the 2013 season and helped his team retain the league title. On 24 July 2014, Gyan announced on his personal website that he had signed a contract extension at Al-Ain, receiving an improved deal and tying him to the club until 2018.