John Paintsil

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John Paintsil
Paintsil with Fulham in 2009
Personal information
Full name John Paintsil[1]
Date of birth (1981-06-15) 15 June 1981 (age 42)
Place of birth Berekum, Brong-Ahafo, Ghana
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Position(s) Full back, defensive midfielder
Team information
Current team
Kaizer Chiefs (assistant manager)
Youth career
1997–1999 Berekum Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2000 Berekum Arsenal 0 (0)
2000–2001 Liberty Professionals 10 (0)
2001–2002 Berekum Arsenal 12 (1)
2002–2004 Maccabi Tel Aviv 46 (0)
2004–2006 Hapoel Tel Aviv 46 (4)
2006–2008 West Ham United 19 (0)
2008–2011 Fulham 75 (0)
2011–2012 Leicester City 6 (0)
2012–2013 Hapoel Tel Aviv 9 (0)
2013–2014 Santos 17 (0)
2014–2016 Maritzburg United 34 (0)
Total 274 (5)
International career
2001–2013 Ghana[3] 89 (0)
Managerial career
2016– Kaizer Chiefs (assistant manager)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

John Paintsil (born 15 June 1981) is a Ghanaian former professional footballer who was an assistant coach at Kaizer Chiefs in the South African Premier Soccer League. He played club football for Berekum Arsenal, Liberty Professionals, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Tel Aviv, West Ham United, Fulham, Leicester City, Santos and Maritzburg United as well as internationally for Ghana.

His family name is Paintsil but at birth it was registered as Pantsil in error. This then subsequently appeared on his passport and his registration with the Premier League.[4]

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

A player comfortable at right back or in midfield, Paintsil had stints in his native Ghana with Berekum Arsenal and Liberty Professionals and a brief spell with Polish side Widzew Łódź before moving to Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2002.

Maccabi Tel Aviv[edit]

Pantsil joined Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2002, where he was a member of the team that won both the Israeli title and reached the Cup semi-final.[5] He made 46 league appearances[6] and five appearances in the Champions League.

Hapoel Tel Aviv[edit]

In December 2004, he transferred to rivals Hapoel Tel Aviv[7] helping them to second place in the league in 2006[5] and to win the Israeli State Cup in May 2006.[8] He made 42 appearances for Hapoel, scoring three goals.[6]

Pantsil playing for West Ham United in 2008

West Ham United[edit]

After the 2006 World Cup, Israeli international Yossi Benayoun recommended Paintsil to West Ham United manager Alan Pardew as the Premier League club was in need of a right-back.[7] Pardew took Pantsil with the rest of the squad on their pre-season tour of Sweden. Impressive performances by Paintsil during West Ham's Swedish tour allowed him to gain favour with Pardew.[9] In August 2006, West Ham completed the signing of Paintsil after a work permit was granted.[10] Paintsil was given the number 14 shirt at West Ham and competed for a place in the side with Tyrone Mears and Jonathan Spector. He made only five appearances for West Ham during the 2006–07 season and in the summer of 2007 was weighing up his options in order to ensure his place in the Ghana national team for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.[11] However, the defender remained at West Ham and in July 2008, with the majority of his 24 games for West Ham being substitute appearances, Paintsil was given permission to speak to Fulham with a view to a move.


Paintsil with Fulham in 2008

On 15 July 2008, Paintsil and teammate Bobby Zamora completed their moves to Fulham for a combined transfer fee of £6.3 million.[12] He became a first team regular during the 2008–09 season, helping the Cottagers to a record seventh-place finish. His performances improved as the season progressed and he retained a regular starting place in the 2009–10 season. In June 2011 new Fulham manager Martin Jol announced that Pantsil had played his last game for Fulham and that he would not be returning for the 2011–12 season.[13] He was released by Fulham in June 2011.[14]

Leicester City[edit]

Paintsil playing for Leicester City

On 21 July 2011, Paintsil joined Leicester City on a free transfer.[15] He became manager Sven-Göran Eriksson's eighth signing of the summer. Paintsil was released by Leicester in May 2012 having made seven appearances in all competitions. He had made no appearances since the appointment of new Leicester manager, Nigel Pearson in November 2011 and had not played for Leicester since October 2011.[6][16]

Hapoel Tel Aviv[edit]

On 12 August 2012, Paintsil returned to Israel by signing at Hapoel Tel Aviv for one season.[17]


Paintsil joined Santos in the National First Division on 10 October 2013[18] after failing to agree terms with Premier Soccer League team Polokwane City.[19]

Maritzburg United[edit]

On 8 July 2014, Paintsil joined Maritzburg United.[20] On 29 January 2016 he was released by Maritzburg United, following a falling out with manager Ernst Middendorp on disciplinary grounds together with teammate Ashley Hartog.[21][22]

On 24 June 2016, Paintsil retired from football.[23]

International career[edit]

Paintsil playing for Ghana's national team during the FIFA World Cup 2010

Paintsil was a member of the Ghana Under 21 team who were runner-up in the FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina in 2001 and played for the senior team in the African Cup of Nations in Mali in 2002 and Egypt in 2006.[7] He was also a member of the Ghana 2004 Olympics football team who exited in the first round in Greece, having finished in third place in Group B. Paintsil played in all the matches of Ghana's national team in the 2006 World Cup finals, where Ghana were beaten by Brazil in the second round.[7]

Following the first and second goals in Ghana's 2–0 victory over the Czech Republic on 17 June 2006, he celebrated by waving an Israeli flag, he also waved as the final whistle blew. This action provoked some protests in his native country Ghana and the Arab world.[24] Afterwards the Ghanaian Football Association issued an apology, and said of Pantsil "He was naive".[25] He was a member of the Ghanaian 2010 World Cup team that reached the quarter-finals in South Africa before losing to Uruguay.[26] He played in all five games. On 13 June 2010, in a World Cup group-stage match against Serbia, another variation of his name appeared on his jersey, Panstil.[27]

Managerial career[edit]

Kaizer Chiefs[edit]

On 27 June 2016, Paintsil became the new assistant manager at Kaizer Chiefs.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Paintsil's family reportedly received repeated death threats in Ghana.[citation needed] His younger brother Mark fled to Israel on a tourist visa. His visa expired and he was jailed whilst applying for political asylum pending immigration status decisions. According to Mark, the rest of the family is in Britain and cannot go back to Ghana. He was quoted as saying "I cannot return to Ghana because I truly fear for my life. My sister, after returning to Ghana, joined my brother and parents in London immediately, and now I am in prison and there is nothing I can do."[29] John is also famous for his lap of honor at home matches, he sometimes only wears one sleeve on his left arm in the winter, leaving his right arm bare by simply cutting off the other sleeve.[30] During an interview with The West Ham Way, Paintsil revealed that a dream where he played particularly well with one long and one short sleeve led to him adopting this unusual habit.[31]

Career statistics[edit]

International appearances[edit]



Maccabi Tel Aviv

Hapoel Tel Aviv





  1. ^ "2006 FIFA World Cup Germany: List of Players: Ghana" (PDF). FIFA. 21 March 2014. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2019.
  2. ^ "John Pantsil". Premier League. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Paintsil, John". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Fulham's John Pantsil reveals secret life playing for Arsenal". 18 January 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  5. ^ a b Player Profile: John Pantsil, Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  6. ^ a b c Soccerbase: John Pantsil Archived 1 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Racing Post. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  7. ^ a b c d Player Profiles: John Pantsil Archived 4 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, West Ham United Official site. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  8. ^ Player Profile: John Paintsil[dead link], Sky Sports. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  9. ^ "Hammers happy with Paintsil", Sky Sports, 26 July 2006. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  10. ^ "Hammer Paintsil nets work permit", BBC Sport, 9 August 2006. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  11. ^ "West Ham's Pantsil eyeing exit", BBC Sport, 22 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  12. ^ "Zamora & Pantsil sign for Fulham". BBC Sport. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  13. ^ "John Pantsil will not return to Fulham — Jol". MTNFootball. 9 June 2011. Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  14. ^ "Players released". The Guardian. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  15. ^ "Leicester City sign defender John Pantsil". BBC Football. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  16. ^ "Pantsil leaves Leicester". Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  17. ^ "It's Exciting to Return to Hapoel Tel Aviv - John Paintsil | Football/Soccer |". Archived from the original on 18 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.|It’s Exciting to Return to Hapoel Tel Aviv – John Paintsil
  18. ^ "Paintsil Signs For Santos". Soccer Laduma. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  19. ^ "Paintsil back at Santos". KickOff. 10 October 2013. Archived from the original on 11 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  20. ^ "Paintsil Signs Maritzburg Deal". Soccer Laduma. 8 July 2014.
  21. ^ Madlala, Robin-Duke (29 January 2016). "PSL transfer news: John Paintsil and Ashley Hartog leaving Maritzburg United". Kick Off.
  22. ^ Gyamera-Antwi, Evans (29 January 2016). "Paintsil parts ways with South African club Maritzburg United".
  23. ^ "Paintsil calls it a day". SuperSport. 24 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Fury in Egypt over Ghana's Israeli flag waver", Ynetnews, 19 June 2006. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  25. ^ "Apology follows Paintsil gesture", BBC Sport, 19 June 2006. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  26. ^ "World-Tearful Ghana rue last-gasp penalty drama". 2 July 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  27. ^ "Fawzi Chaouchi is England's new No.1, Marcel Desailly 1 Big Ron Atkinson 0 and Milan Jovanovic is Rafa's Benitez's revenge on Liverpool: Top 10 things we learned from the World Cup today, Sunday June 13". Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  28. ^ "Ghana's John Paintsil named new Kaizer Chiefs assistant". BBC Sport. 27 June 2016.
  29. ^ Branovsky, Yael (20 June 1995). "Ynet News. Israel jails brother of Ghanaian soccer player. Published 23 June 2010, accessed 23 June 2010". Ynetnews. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  30. ^ "The unsolved World Cup mystery of Ghana's "Pants" and sleeve". 22 June 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  31. ^ "The West Ham Way". 23 September 2021. Retrieved 23 September 2021.

External links[edit]