GHANA- Lawrence Ati-Zigi was born in Accra, Ghana, on 29 November 1996 to Murali (father) and Shobha (mother). Zigi’s father died from a serious illness when he was 12 years old. He grew up with his mother, grandmother, and two sisters.
“I started playing football at the age of six as an outfield player. I was not a goalkeeper. I used to play with my friends in my area as a striker.”
Currently, Zigi plays as a goalkeeper for FC St. Gallen and the Ghana national team.
According to recent interviews, Zigi said, “when I started schooling my parents didn’t want me to play football because I was always coming home dirty. So, my mum didn’t want me to continue playing,” the goalkeeper explained.
Zigi’s mother urged him to study, so he wanted to become a doctor, but he had other plans and today he plays football professionally.
“I didn’t really start as a goalkeeper. My friends made me a goalkeeper and I have lived with it,” says Zigi.
“One day we went to play and we didn’t have a goalkeeper so I went into the post, and that was it.”
“We won the game. And that was my first time. My friends were impressed and encouraged me to keep being on goal and that was it.”
The death of Zigi’s father struck him very hard, but God helped him cope with it. “God is the Center of my life”, he said.
LAWRENCE ATI-ZIGI EARLY CAREER
In 2015, Zigi joined the Austrian side Salzburg, where he was farmed out to club feeder side Liefering.
The goalkeeper struggled to break into the Salzburg set-up after impressing Liefering, so he left for French side Sochaux, and was acquired by St. Gallen.
Zigi was called up to the Ghana senior national team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification games against Congo on 1st and 5th September 2017.
He then made his senior national team debut for Ghana on 7 June 2018, playing 90 minutes against Iceland in a friendly that ended in a 2–2 draw.
In the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Zigi played for the Ghanaian team that was eliminated in the group stage.
As Ghana’s opening match in Group H of the Fifa World Cup 2022, Ati-Zigi made his debut against Portugal on 24 November 2022.
Despite injuries to the two keepers in front of him, Lawrence Ati-Zigi, Ghana’s third goalkeeper, made a leaping save to keep South Korea from scoring on Monday. There is a thriving African team scene, Ghana defeated South Korea 3-2.