Gerald Asamoah's heart has always been in the game of football, even if it almost ended his career before it started.

Asamoah moved to Germany as a 12-year-old but just as he began to envisage playing the game professionally, his career was close to being ended by the discovery of a genetic heart disorder. He was told he would not play again, but he didn't give up on his dream.

Perseverance


He visited specialists in the USA who, through tests and medication, claimed to be able to reduce the chances of Asamoah's heart stopping due to the strains of a football game to 1%, and he was given dispensation by the German Football Association (DFB) to carry on his career, at his own risk.

That he did, moving a year later in 1999 from Hannover 96 to Schalke 04 and winning the DFB Cup in 2001 and 2002, and the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2003 and 2004. His star continued to rise and in 2001 he received his first call-up to the Germany national team after gaining German citizenship in 2001. He scored on his debut in May that year and appeared in the final of the 2002 World Cup, and would go on to receive a total of 43 caps for die Nationalmannschaft.

Giving something back


With his heart as big as it is, he set up charitable foundations to support children with heart conditions, and he spends most of his time off the field giving back what football has given to him.

All this while helping to give SpVgg Greuther Fürth their first ever season in the Bundesliga with his five goals in ten appearances for them in 2011/12.