Karim Abdul Razak
|Full name||Karim Abdul Razak Tanko|
|Date of birth||18 April 1956|
|Place of birth||Kumasi, Ghana|
|1979–1981||New York Cosmos||3||(0)|
|1982–1983||Al Ain FC|
|1999–2000||AS Dragons FC de l'Ouémé|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Karim Abdul Razak Tanko (born 18 April 1956) is a Ghanaian football coach and former midfielder. He played for several clubs in the 1970s and 1980s, notably the local club Asante Kotoko and the New York Cosmos in the defunct North American Soccer League (NASL).
Razak, who also played for clubs in the UAE, Egypt and Ivory Coast, was ranked by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 2007 as one of the confederation's 30 best footballers of the previous 50 years.
Razak was born in Kumasi to Alhaji Abdul Karimu and Hajija Ishatu. He studied at Asem Boy's Elementary School. He started his playing career at local youth team football, before moving to Kumasi Cornerstones in 1972.
Professional playing career
In 1975, he moved to Ghana's most successful club, Asante Kotoko. After a four-year spell with Kotoko, during which he became a member of the national team and earned the 1978 African Footballer of the Year award, Razak left Ghana in 1979 for the New York Cosmos of the NASL, where he played alongside former World Cup winners Franz Beckenbauer and Carlos Alberto.
In 1981, after spending almost two years at the New York club, the Ghanaian forward decided to return home, signing with his former club Asante Kotoko. After one year, he moved again, this time to Al Ain of UAE, where he spent two seasons. Razak then signed with Arab Contractors of Egypt, where he spent the next two years of his playing career. before returning to Ghana for a third spell with Kotoko. After another five years with the Ghanaian club, Razak moved to Ivorian side Africa Sports of Abidjan, where he retired two years later.
Razak was a member of the Ghana national team that competed at the 1978 African Cup of Nations as hosts of the tournament. He scored two game-winning goals, one against Zambia in the first round, and another one to defeat Tunisia 1–0 in semi-finals. His decisive goal against Tunisia has been referred to as the "Golden Goal". Ghana defeated Uganda in the final, winning their 3rd continental title. In good part due to his effort to help Ghana win the African Cup, Razak was named African Player of the Year months later, becoming the second of three Ghanaian players ever to win the award.
After retiring from playing, Razak, who had become a player-coach while at Al Ain, started his coaching career, being in charge of several semi-professional Togolese clubs, before moving to Benin's AS Dragons FC de l'Ouémé.
In 2000, he had a short spell as an assistant coach of the Ghana national team. After leaving the Ghanaian side, Razak went to Mali, where he won the Malien Premiere Division and cup double with Stade Malien. The club did not lose any matches on its way to winning the title. In 2003, he was appointed the coach of Kumasi Asante Kotoko and helped the club win their first local league in ten years. He discharged of his post after the 2003–04 league season, eventually returning to Stade Malien for two additional seasons.
In a 1999 poll held by the IFFHS to select the best footballers of the 20th Century, Razak ranked 31st among African players, and in 2007, he was selected as one of the 30 best African footballers of the previous 50 years by the CAF, through internet voting. Razak's career titles and individual honours include:
- 1978 African Cup of Nations – Winner
- 1978 African Footballer of the Year
- Player of the Year in Egypt: 1983, 1985
- Spelling variations of name include Karimu and Abdoul.
- UEFA.com. "All-Stars clash kick off in Bari". UEFA. Retrieved 6 April 2007.[dead link]
- Ojinmah, Iwedi (29 December 2004). "ABDUL "THE GOLDEN BOY" RAZAK". Nigerian Super Eagles fans website. CyberEagles.com forum. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2007.
- Pierrend, José Luis (14 December 2000). "African Player of the Year 1978". Football statistics website. Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 6 April 2007. "1. Abdul RAZAK – 58 pts – Ghana – Asante Kotoko (Gha)"
- "All-Time Player Roster". Soccer Camps of America Inc. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
- "Ghana's inside knowledge". Football:Africa (BBC). 14 September 2001. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
- Stokkermans, Karel. "IFFHS' Century Elections". RSSSF. Retrieved 6 April 2007.
- CAFonline.com. "CAF release 30 best African players in the last 50 years". Confederation of African Football. Archived from the original on 3 April 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2007.