Gervais Yao Kouassi, better known as Gervinho, is an Ivorian footballer. The current Roma player has made a name for himself with his quick, skilled style of play, as well as his unique hairstyle. Here are ten things you didn’t know about the football star.
Gervinho was born in the same town as Ivorian footballer Arouna Koné
Born in Anyama, Côte d’Ivoire, in May 1987, Gervinho shares his hometown with fellow Ivorian international footballer Arouna Koné, who played for Everton in the Premier League. Koné is currently out for a large chunk of the season with an injury after scans revealed a cartilage problem.
His Brazilian-sounding nickname came from the Brazilian coach who trained ASEC Abidjan
Gervinho began his football career at the ASEC Abidjan youth academy in Côte d’Ivoire, where he received his nickname. The Brazilian coach who trained the academy gave him the name Gervinho as a Brazilian/Portuguese-style derivation of his first name, Gervais.
Gervinho’s No. 27 at Arsenal previously belonged to Côte d’Ivoire teammate Emmanuel Eboué
In July 2011, Gervinho transferred to Arsenal from Lille for a fee of £10.8 million ($16.9 million US). At that time, he was given the No. 27, Emmanuel Eboué’s former number, as he was already on the verge of leaving Arsenal.
His hair and clothing choices are the source of much comment
Among his teammates, Gervinho is often referred to as the man with the ugliest and worst hair, and often receives mocking in the media as well. He takes it in stride, however, and often likes to deliver comical performances, sometimes dressing in women’s clothing and florescent colored boots, and demonstrating his truly…unique dance moves.
There is a song in Côte d’Ivoire written about Gervinho
During a time of trouble and violence in the country, several Ivorian artists wrote a song about Gervinho. Describing it in an interview, he said, “…The lyrics said that seeing me lift the French title enabled them to forget their troubles for a while. That was very humbling.”
Gervino captained the Côte d’Ivoire national team at the U21 level
Before moving up to the senior squad in November 2007, Gervinho served as the captain for the country’s under-21 squad. He was eventually called up to the senior squad in the run up to the 2008 African Cup of Nations tournament.
He was sent off in his Premier League debut
After joining Arsenal, Gervinho achieved his Premier League debut in a match against Newcastle United, but was sent off mid match for slapping opponent Joey Barton. The game finished in a 0-0 draw, and Gervinho received a three-match ban for violent conduct.
He views some of his time at Arsenal as among the worst in his career
When asked in an interview what the worst moment in his career was, Gervinho said, “I have said that I didn’t feel the coaches at Arsenal had enough confidence in me – and I was not given enough time to prove myself on the field. When I did play it was often out of position – and as a player you want to play where you can be at your best.”
Gervinho was known for missing open opportunities while at Arsenal, and recently reminded fans of that reputation with a comical miss in November 2014
While playing for Arsenal, Gervinho often made fans cringe when he would lose composure at the last second and miss wide-open opportunities. Though he had shed this reputation to an extent since making the move to Roma, fans were reminded that he was still able to put in the occasional world-class miss at an African Cup of Nations qualifying match against Sierra Leone on Nov. 14, 2014. While in control of the ball up until the last second, his shot went up, up and away, out into the stands and nowhere close to the goal. Côte d’Ivoire still ended the match with a 5-1 victory.
Gervinho is a big fan of American hip-hop music
Gerinho names U.S. hip hop as his favorite style of music, and Jay Z and Kanye West as some of his most-listened-to artists. He even named Jay Z as one of the people he’d most like to have dinner with, along with Thierry Henry and President Barack Obama.
Sources: Mirror.co.uk, UK.EuroSport.Yahoo.com, ASRoma.it, TransferMarkt.com, Football-Player-Biography.Blogspot.co.nz, ArticleBio.com, FootballersBioG.Blogspot.co.nz, ArsenalSite.com, DailyMail.co.uk