Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Munir Polo is popularly known as the “Professor” and also “Dribbling Magician”
in Ghana football.
He is a former Ghanaian International footballer who played for Hearts of Oak and Black Stars.
He is regarded as arguably the most technically gifted Ghanaian footballer to ever emerge from Ghana .
Football Commentators and Fans who watched him from 1972 – 1993 claim he is the Greatest Of All Time in the history of Ghana football.
Those who watched him also claim he was better than Argentine footballer Lionel Messi even though the two players have similar style of play.
He was the first recipient of Ghana Footballer of the Year Award in 1975 at the age of 19 years which was presented to him by the Sports Writers Association of Ghana ( SWAG).
He received two nominations in the African Footballer of the Year Award in 1977 where he placed 4th and 1978 where he placed 10th.
He helped the Black Stars to win the 1978 AFCON which got him into the Team of the Tournament.
Many people believed that if it hadn’t been injuries which took him out from Ghana’s first match against Zambia he would have won the Best Player of the tournament.
Mohammed Polo’s pace, passes,
free-kicks, dribbling and body swerves made him exceptional in the 1978 AFCON.
He excited a lot of fans who went to the Accra Sports Stadium during the 1978 AFCON Tournament.
He played 4 matches out of the 5 matches Ghana played in the 1978 AFCON.
Out of the 9 goals Ghana scored, Mohammed Polo scored 1 goal against Upper Volta ( Burkina Faso) in Ghana’s 3rd match in the Group Stage and made several crucial assists in the Tournament for the Black Stars.
Mohammed Polo gave a “GOLDEN” pass to Abdul Razak to score the match winner against Tunisia in the Semi – Final to qualify Ghana to the Final against Uganda.
He also assisted Opoku Afriyie to score Ghana’s 2nd goal against Uganda in the Final to secure Ghana the 1978 AFCON Trophy.
He was the 3rd Best Player of the 1978 AFCON behind Abdul Razak of Ghana and Philip Omondi of Uganda.
Mohammed Polo is the Most Decorated or Trophy – Laden Ghanaian footballer of all time with 29 Trophies for both club and country in his 21 years of exciting football from 1972 – 1993.
He retired from football in 1993 at the age of 37 years.
Mohammed Polo is now into Coaching and Development of young footballers in Ghana.
Full Name : Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Munir Polo
Date Of Birth : 11th November, 1956
Place Of Birth : Accra, Ghana
Position(s): Winger, Forward
1972-1972 : Auroras FC
1972- 1979 : Hearts of Oak with 242 Matches , 145 Goals
1978 – Dubai Al Wasl
1979 – 1984: Dubai Al Wasl
1984-1985: Qatar SC
1985 – 1986: Hearts of Oak
1986 -1989: Shell Gabon FC
1989-1992: Hearts of Oak
1992- 1993: Great Olympics.
1973-1987 with 54 Matches, 20 Goals
1994-1995 : Hearts of Oak
1997: Winneba Advance Stars
1998-1999: Dubai Al Wasl FC Youth 15, 17 and 19
2002: Dubai Hatta FC Youth 13, 15, 17 and 19
2002 : University of Ghana Football Team
2003: Stade Malien
2003: Polo Soccer Academy
2004: Great Olympics
2004 – 2009 : Golden Stars Academy
2005: Miracle FC
2010 – 2022 : Polo Soccer Academy
2013 – 2014 : Hearts of Oak
2023 – till date : Polo Sports Academy
Mohammed Polo was born on 11th November, 1956 in Accra to Alhaji Ahmed Abdul Rahman and Hajia Hawa Abdul Rahman.
He attended Kotobabi Elementary School.
Mohammed Polo started playing football for local youth teams like Mau Mau, Nima Seekers and Bukom Islamic Stars before moving to Auroras FC which was the Team B of Hearts of Oak in 1972 as little as 15 years old.
In January 1972, the birth of a football legend, Mohammed Ahmed Polo was confirmed by the football fans at Bukom Square in Accra.
Bukom Islamic Stars organized a friendly match at Bukom Square in Accra.
Bukom Islamic Stars having their image dented and eclipsed by their opponent in the first half of the match after conceding an early goal decided to bring on the little, young, shy and talented 15 – year old footballer, Mohammed Ahmed Polo who was unknown to the Bukom fans in the second half of the match.
Polo had been carried from Nima at his club Nima Seekers to play for Bukom Islamic Stars.
As soon as he entered the pitch, he received his first pass from his half and dribbled past every opponent cleverly all the way to goal to equalize for Bukom lslamic Stars.
The spectators had never seen an outstanding young footballer on that Bukom grounds before.
Polo was carried shoulder high by the fans immediately after scoring the goal.
Bukom lslamic Stars won the match by 3 -1.
After the match, Polo was followed by the fans like a MESSIAH as they gazed his left foot to see if it will reveal some secrets.
Polo’s name spread wide in Accra after the match.
This was the birth of the football legend, Mohammed Ahmed Polo and he was just 15 years old.
Few weeks after the match, Polo was seen playing for Auroras FC which is the second team of Hearts of Oak.
Before the start of the 1972 Season, Hearts did a “Justify Your Inclusion” exercise for new players for Auroras FC.
Polo also attended to test if he could be given the chance to play for Auroras FC in a company of the Managers of Nima Seekers, Skylee and Yushau who were also fans of Hearts of Oak.
Mohammed Polo was picked for Auroras FC due to his magical touches of the ball on that day.
The fans saw a gem for Hearts of Oak in 1972 and bonded with him quickly.
He started playing in the Reserve League Matches in the 1972 Season which was played before the senior team Hearts of Oak played in any Ghana League match.
Polo was so good that he could play 90 minutes of the Reserve League matches and play for the Team A, Hearts of Oak as well.
Due to that he did not play many matches for Auroras FC in 1972 and was quickly promoted to Team A, Hearts of Oak in the same year 1972.
Polo has 3 wives namely Farida Ali Mohammed , Abibatu Bade Kumah Polo, Fati Ali Polo .
He also has 8 Children of which 5 are males and 3 are females.
The children are
Fauzia Mohammed, Mohammed Ahmed, Mubeen Mohammed Polo, Fijaj Mohammed Polo, Mubarak Mohammed, Radia Mohammed Polo, Nadeed Mohammed and Salma Mohammed Polo.
His 5 male children are also footballers.
On Thursday 14th July, 2022 , Mohammed Polo launched his Biography entitled
” POLO THE MAGNIFICENT – THE STORY OF THE DRIBBLING MAGICIAN”
On 21st February, 2023 , Mohammed Polo presented his
5 – Year Youth Football Development Plan to his Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana and told him about his plan to raise the low standard of Ghana football.
STYLE OF PLAY
Mohammed Polo’s strength, pace , passing ability, dribbling, goal scoring, long range shots and ball control were at the zenith, without equal.
He was also an accurate FREE- KICK taker and PENALTY taker.
His style of play inspired many youth players in the 1970’s such as Nii Moi Polo who won the Best Colts Player in 1977 and Abedi Ayew Pele who idolized him in their youthful days.
Every young budding talent in the 1970’s took the inspiration from Mohammed Polo.
Due to his great technical abilities
Mohammed Polo received Twenty-Eight (28) ACCOLADES from the SPORTS COMMENTATORS. They are Dribbling Magician, Football Extraordinere, The Magnificent, Professor, Maestro, Orchestra, Doctor, Wizard, Soccer Tactician, Wonder Boy, World Eleven, Darling Boy, Scorer of Important Goals, Soccer Scientist, The boy who talks with the ball, The Great One, The Sun, Soccer Calculator, Soccer Emeritus, Soccer Virtuoso, Soccer Superamus, Soccer Emperor, Soccer Craftsman, Soccer Engineer, Game Changer , The Defenders’ Nightmare, The boy with the Diamond Mind and Polo to Polo.
Mohammed Polo was promoted to Hearts of Oak at the age of 15 years in 1972 after his short great exploits in the Auroras FC.
He won 21 Trophies for Hearts of Oak from 1972 – 1992 which is a RECORD as a player in the history of Hearts of Oak and Ghana football as a whole.
Mohammed Polo performed 2 football magics for Hearts of Oak in the CAF African Cup of Champion Clubs ( CAF Champions League) in 1977 and 1979.
The 1st magical match was Hearts of Oak vrs Mufulira Wanderers of Zambia in 1977.
This was a 2nd Leg Semi-Final game at the El-Wak Sports Stadium which Hearts needed at least 3-0 scoreline to qualify to their 1st Final after Hearts had lost by 5-2 in the 1st Leg in Zambia without Mohammed Polo due to injury.
In all the 3 goals, Mohammed Polo had to go deep into his own defence area to pick up the balls and dribbled through the Mufulira Wanderers players to assist Anas Seidu and Peter Lamptey to score the 3 goals .
Before the 3 goals were scored, the Zambian National Commentator had already reported on the Radio to the Zambian fans that Mufulira Wanderers had qualified to the FINAL since there was no way Hearts could score 3 unanswered goals.
The Zambian Commentator was amazed with the performance of Mohammed Ahmed Polo at the last 15 minutes of the game and kept asking ” Is Mohammed Polo a Human Being” judging from the Mufulira Wanderers players inability to handle the dribbling magic of Mohammed Polo which led to the 3 goals scored on the day.
The Zambian Commentator was so broken- hearted and burst into tears on the Radio when the last goal was scored on the 89th minute of the game due to another magic from Mohammed Polo.
This became the miracle popularly dubbed as “The Miracle of El-Wak”
Polo was carried shoulder-high by the Hearts of Oak fans amid wild jubilation into the night.
The 2nd magical match was Hearts of Oak vrs Mighty Black Pool of Sierra Leone in 1979.
This match was the 2nd Leg in the 1979 African Cup of Champion Clubs at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Hearts of Oak had lost the 1st Leg in Sierra Leone by 2-0 so they needed at least 2-0 to push the game to Penalties or 3-0 to progress to the next stage.
Due to injury, Polo was on the bench.
The 1st half was goaless.
Wonders happened when Polo entered the pitch in the 2nd half.
Polo orchestrated 2 important goals to push the game to Penalties and Hearts won by 4-2 on Penalties to qualify to the Second Round of the competition.
In 1978, after the AFCON, he moved for a 3 – Month spell at Al Wasl but came back to Hearts of Oak to play the 1978 Ghana League Season before going back again to Al Wasl in 1979 to play the UAE 1979/1980 League.
Mohammed Polo played with 4 generations of Hearts of Oak .
He first played with the
“3 Musketeers” which comprised Abeka Ankrah, Joe Ghartey and Robert Foley from 1972 – 1974.
Mohammed Polo along with Mama Acquah , Anas Seidu , Robert Hammond and Peter Lamptey , they formed the squad dubbed ” Fearsome Five” who formed the backbone of Hearts of Oak to terrorize Ghanaian and African teams from 1975 – 1979 in the Ghana League and CAF African Cup of Champion Clubs ( CAF Champions league) respectively.
He later played with Opoku Afriyie’s Generation from 1985 – 1986.
He also played with the ” Musical Youth” from 1989 – 1992.
Mohammed Polo played for Al Wasl from 1979 – 1984 where he helped the club to win their first League title in 1981/1982 and annexed the 1982/1983 League title as well.
He won the Best Player of the Season 3 times in the U.A.E League in 1979/1980, 1981/1982 and 1982/1983.
He bonded with the Al Wasl fans to the extent that he was carried shoulder high by the Al Wasl fans when he scored a ” Dribbling – To – Goal – Magic ” that won the club their 1st League title even though that act was against the Arabic principle.
In 2006, Mohammed Polo’s ” Dribbling – To – Goal – Magic ” was chosen as the All Time Best Goal in the U.A.E Pro – League.
Mohammed Polo is regarded as one of the Best Foreign Players to ever play in the U.A.E Pro – League since the inception of their League in 1971.
He later played for Qatar FC in 1984 where he won Sheikh Jassim Cup with them.
He also played for Shell Gabon FC from 1986- 1989 and Great Olympics in 1993 where he retired from playing football at the age of 37 years.
Mohammed Polo was invited into the Ghana National Team, Black Stars at the age of 16 years 268 days in a World Cup Qualify Match between Ghana and Zaire ( DR Congo) which Ghana won
1 – 0 at the Accra Sports Stadium on 5th August , 1973.
He played for 14 years in the Black Stars before retiring in 1987.
Though he could not qualify Ghana to the FIFA World Cup, he qualified Ghana to the World Olympic Games on 2 occasions in 1976 and 1980 but the African Olympic Committee withdrew from the 1976 Olympic Games and Government of Ghana also withdrew from the 1980 Olympic Games due to financial crisis.
Many people believe that, if Mohammed Polo had gotten the chance to play in the World Olympic Games in 1976 and 1980, the World would have seen a different GEM from Africa in the World football and that would have also propelled him to be attracted by the European Clubs even though the connection between the African players and European Clubs wasn’t too much at that time as compared to today.
Again, he won the 1978 AFCON for Ghana and also 4 West African Nations Cup in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1986.
In July 1978, Mohammed Polo helped Ghana to place 3rd in the All African Games which was hosted by Algeria in 1978.
Mohammed Polo scored 20 goals in 54 matches for the Black Stars from 1973 – 1987.
Polo developed the interest in coaching in 1984 after the Black Stars were eliminated from the 1984 AFCON Tournament which was hosted by Ivory Coast.
Within a short time just after Ghana’s elimination from the 1984 AFCON Tournament, Mohammed Polo established a football club called Republican Professionals in Accra and served as a Player/Coach.
The Republican Professionals were made up of only Ghanaian footballers who had played football outside the country Ghana.
Some of the players were Mohammed Ahmed Polo, Abedi Ayew Pele, Willie Klutse, George Alhassan and the likes.
Mohammed Polo organized a friendly match between Republican Professionals and Benin Professionals.
Mohammed Polo convinced the then youngest player in the Black Stars, Abedi Ayew Pele who had just recovered from an injury that took him out of the Black Stars Squad in the 1984 AFCON Tournament to join his team, Republican Professionals.
The friendly match was played in Benin .
The Republican Professionals defeated Benin Professionals by 5-2 in Benin.
Abedi Ayew Pele and his Mentor or Idol, Mohammed Ahmed Polo scored in that match.
The match attracted Dragons l’oueme Officials who came to watch the match to sign Abedi Ayew Pele who was then, the youngest player among the Republican Professionals.
Abedi Ayew Pele played for Dragons l’oueme in the 1984 Benin League Season just after the friendly match between the Republican Professionals and Benin Professionals.
Abedi Ayew Pele was later scouted by some French Officials in the 1984 Benin League Season due to his wonderful performance and that gave Abedi Ayew Pele the chance to play in the French League from 1986 to 1994 due to the great COACHING and INSPIRATION from Mohammed Ahmed Polo.
When Abedi Ayew Pele came down to Ghana to spend some holidays in Accra after the 1986/1987 French League , he came to meet his Mentor, Mohammed Polo who also came from Shell Gabon FC to also spend some holidays in Accra.
Mohammed Polo took Abedi Ayew Pele into some coaching practicals to make Abedi Ayew Pele a better player to fit properly in the French League 1.
Abedi Ayew Pele later played for Olympic Marseille and help them to win the 1992/1993 UEFA Champions League and also won the African Footballer of the Year Award for 3 consecutive times.
Mohammed Polo later got the opportunity to be a Player/Coach in Hearts of Oak from 1991- 1992 and Great Olympics in 1993 before getting his German Coaching License in 1994.
He also holds a CAF Licence B Coaching Certificate.
He started his professional coaching from Hearts of Oak from 1994 – 1995 .
At Hearts of Oak, he impacted his coaching skills greatly on footballers like Sam Johnson, Stephen Appiah, Gordon Ablordey and Eben Dugbatey.
He later moved to Winneba Advance Stars in 1997.
He moved to Dubai Al Wasl to coach their Youth Teams of Under 15 ,17 and 19 from 1998 – 1999.
He moved on to Dubai Hatta FC Youth Team of Under 13, 15, 17 and 19 in 2002.
Mohammed Polo had a short coaching spell with the University of Ghana Football Team where he prepared and took the University Team to the 2002 Ghana University Sports Association ( GUSA) Games .
In 2003, he coached Stade Malien in Mali.
In 2003, Mohammed Polo established Polo Soccer Academy but changed the name of the Academy to Golden Stars Academy in 2004 due to a Partnership Contract for 5 years from 2004 – 2009.
Within that period he trained young footballers like Eric Bekoe, Joe Tagoe , James Kotey and Abdul Fatau Safiu.
Mohammed Polo used to train his Golden Stars Academy at University of Ghana , Legon on the Polo Park which was constructed by Mohammed Polo himself in 2003.
After the expiration of the Golden Stars Academy contract , Mohammed Polo reverted his Academy to Polo Soccer Academy from 2010 to 2022.
In 2005, he coached a Division 2 Club, Miracle FC where he nurtured young stars like Gladson Awako and John Boye.
In January 2006, Mohammed Ahmed Polo organized a friendly match in Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana in the heat of DISUNITY in the Northern Region of Ghana where he also served as a Player/Coach.
The main purpose of the friendly match organized by Mohammed Ahmed Polo was to promote peace in the Northern Region of Ghana by using football.
The match featured football stars like Mohammed Ahmed Polo himself, Abedi Ayew Pele and the likes.
This singular act earned Mohammed Ahmed Polo a Special FIFA/ COCA – COLA AWARD dubbed ” Break Down Barriers” for using football to unite the people in the Northern Region of Ghana.
In 2013/ 2014 season, Mohammed Polo coached Hearts of Oak .
He impacted his technical direction on players like Isaac Mensah, Paul Acquah, Ollenu Ashitey and the likes.
Mohammed Polo is now in charge of Polo Sports Academy situated at Odumse, a suburb of Dodowa in Accra as a Technical Director.
HEARTS OF OAK
Ghana Premier League Winner (6) :1973, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1985 , 1989/1990.
Ghana FA Cup Winner (4 ) : 1973, 1974, 1979, 1989/1990.
Ghana Champion of Champions
Winner (2 ) : 1973 , 1979
SWAG Cup Winner (5 ):1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1985.
Ghana Telecom Gala Winner (2 ):1974, 1976
Black Stars Celebration Cup Winner (1) :1978
June 4th Cup Winner ( 1) : 1989
CAF African Cup of Champion Clubs (CAF Champions League)
Runner – up :1977 , 1979
U.A.E Pro -League Winner (2) :1981/1982 ,1982/1983.
Sheikh Jassim Cup (1) : 1984
GHANA NATIONAL TEAM.
African Cup of Nations Winner (1) :1978
West African Nations Cup Winner (4) :1982, 1983, 1984, 1986
1978 All African Games : 3rd Place
- Ghana League Best Player of the Season – 1974, 1975 and 1976
- Ghana Footballer of the year 1975
- African Footballer of the year 1977 ( 4th Place)
- AFCON 3rd Best Player 1978
- African Footballer of the year 1978 ( 10th Place)
- Caf Team of the Tournament 1978 African Cup of Nations
- U.A.E Best League Player of the Season – 1979/1980 , 1981/1982 and 1982/1983
- Dedication and Valour Award 1987-
Sports Writers Association of Ghana
- FIFA/ Coca-cola Award for breaking barriers – 2006
- Grand Medal Award presented by Ex President J.A Kuffour – 2006
- Hearts of Oak Best Player of All-time – 2011
- Soccer Dribbling Legend Award presented by Ghanaian Citizens in U.S.A – 2011
- IFFHS Ghana All Time Men’s Dream Team – 2021
- Hearts of Oak All-time Best X1 – 2021
PERSONAL RECORDS AND ACCOLADES
1.Mohammed Polo is the MOST DECORATED or TROPHY-LADEN GHANAIAN FOOTBALLER of All Time with Twenty Nine( 29) Trophies.
2.Mohammed Polo is the 1st Ghanaian Player to win the SWAG Cup for Five(5) times .
3.Mohammed Polo shares a record with Roger Milla of Cameroon as the only two(2) youngest Africans to make a Senior Club Debut at the age of 15 years ( Polo made his record in 1972 with Auroras FC and Hearts of Oak whilst Roger Milla of Cameroun also made his record in 1967 with Eclair de Douala).
4.Mohammed Polo is the 1st youngest Ghanaian Player to make a Senior National Team Debut at the age of 16 years 268 Days ( Polo made this record on 5th August, 1973 when Ghana won by 1-0 in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Zaire(DR Congo) at the Accra Sports Stadium.
5.Mohammed Polo shares a record with Pele and Diego Maradona as the only three(3) players in the World to make a Senior Club Debut at age 15, a Senior National Team Debut at age 16 and played football for exactly Twenty-One (21) years.
- Polo is the 1st Hearts of Oak player to receive a nomination in the African Player of the Year.
7.Mohammed Polo is the 1st youngest Ghanaian player at the age of 21 to receive a nomination in the African Player of the Year thus 1977.
- Mohammed Polo is the 1st Ghanaian footballer to RETIRE at the age of 37 in 1993.
9.Mohammed Polo is the 1st Ghanaian footballer to play a Topflight Football for Twenty-One (21) Solid years thus from 1972- 1993.
- Mohammed Polo is the 1st and ONLY Ghanaian Footballer to win Twenty-One (21) TROPHIES for a SINGLE CLUB thus HEARTS OF OAK.
11.Mohammed Polo is the 1st Ghanaian footballer to receive a STANDING OVATION from a RIVAL TEAM supporters due to his great performance thus in the 1976 Ghana Premier League match between Kotoko and Hearts at the Kumasi Sports Stadium.
It was a League Decider and Hearts came back from 1 goal down to beat Kotoko by 2-1. Polo played as if he was possessed with 20 players.
- Mohammed Polo is the only Ghanaian footballer to receive Twenty-Eight (28) ACCOLADES from the SPORTS COMMENTATORS. They are Dribbling Magician, Football Extraordinere, The Magnificent, Professor, Maestro, Orchestra, Doctor, Wizard, Soccer Tactician, Wonder Boy, World Eleven, Darling Boy, Scorer of Important Goals, Soccer Scientist, The boy who talks with the ball, The Great One, The Sun, Soccer Calculator, Soccer Emeritus, Soccer Virtuoso, Soccer Superamus, Soccer Emperor, Soccer Craftsman, Soccer Engineer , Game Changer , The Defenders’ Nightmare , The boy with the Diamond Mind and Polo to Polo.
- Mohammed Polo is the only Ghanaian Footballer who could change his jersey for Five (5) times in a single match because his jersey got torned by his opponent players due to the great dribbling magics he always caused.
14.Mohammed Polo is the 1st Hearts of Oak player with the Birth Date 11th November which is also the Birth Date of Hearts of Oak and coincidentally he played 11 years exactly for Hearts of Oak.
- Polo is the 1st Hearts of Oak and Ghanaian Player to receive the Ghana Footballer of the Year Award thus 1975 at the age of 19 years.
- Mohammed Polo is the All time Topscorer for Hearts of Oak with 145 recorded Goals .
- Mohammed Polo is the 1st and only Ghanaian player to win the Ghana League Best Player of the season for 3 consecutive seasons thus 1974, 1975 and 1976 .
- Mohammed Polo holds a joint record with Emmanuel Offei Ansah as the two Ghanaian players with Four(4) Ghana FA CUP Trophies.
- Mohammed Polo is the 1st Ghanaian to play football in United Arab Emirates .
- Mohammed Polo is the 1st African Player to receive the Best Player of the Season Award in the UAE League thus 1979/1980 UAE League Season.
- Mohammed Polo is the only Hearts of Oak Player to play with four (4) Generation of players thus, The 3-Musketeers from 1972-1974 , The Fearsome-Five from 1975- 1979, Opoku Afriyie’s Generation from 1985- 1986 and The Musical Youth from 1989- 1992 .
- Mohammed Polo is among the few players in the history of World Football to have done a DRIBBLING – TO – GOAL – MAGIC along side Diego Maradona, George Oppong Weah and Lionel Messi.
- Mohammed Polo is the youngest Ghanaian Footballer to win a Trebble ( Ghana Premier League, Ghana FA Cup and Ghana Super Cup) in the history of Ghana Football which happened in 1973 at the age of 16 years.
Source: Mr Hayford Boateng, Town Planning Officer, Ga West Municipal Assembly, Accra and Personal Assistant to Prof.Mohammed Ahmed Polo