Monday Feb 05, 2018. 13:00
The Newcastle United winger has revealed that a former pastor scolded him for irregular church attendance, and this has since shaped his life and career.
“One day, I went to church. If I went to church one Sunday, then the next Sunday maybe I would not go. At this time I was not even 16 years old. Then the pastor told my mum something. I was very young, but what he said was very painful to me,” Atsu told his club’s official website.
"He said if you are this age and you don’t know what is good or bad, then maybe you will not grow again.
“I took this as a bad comment, but for me, I think it was a good thing. I realised that ‘he has seen me as a grown man. I can make a decision’. It’s what you are doing, what you believe in, how you think. I felt that what you can go through can help you become a man quickly.”
The Black Stars attacker added, “As far as I’m concerned, God brings people into our life to help us move forward. This is what has been happening to me. I’ve been praying to God to bring people into my life to help me move forward, and it has been happening to me. Even in my worst times, I got to know good people who try to help me move forward.”
He concluded, “I’m here to worship God. I want to live a free life, I want to live the way I want, you understand? In the house of God, I’m normal. Even outside, I want to be normal, to be able to do what I want, not to live like a celebrity. That’s something you can add to it, but I don’t want to add that to it. I want to live a normal life. When I’m like that, I think I’m free.”
Atsu made a substitute appearance in Newcastle’s 1-1 draw away to Crystal Palace yesterday and will hope to return to the starting line-up when they host Manchester United in their next match on Sunday, February 11.