From barefoot football to the first big breakthrough - Rahman Osman’s journey to World Cup reporting

NationalWorld reporter Rahman Osman on his journey to reporting at the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

From splitting his foot playing football on the streets of Ghana to covering the major football tournaments, it’s fair to say Rahman Osman has had his fair share of unique experiences throughout his life and his latest - reporting on the World Cup for NationalWorld in Qatar - may just be his finest.

The ‘Didier Drogba’ of his friends group growing up, Osman didn’t make it as a professional footballer. But leaving Ghana in search of a career in football journalism is something that did lead to success for the Ghanaian-born football reporter.

After reporting from the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, Osman has been covering England and Ghana games during the World Cup for NationalWorld’s sites including 3AddedMinutes, the new member of the team focusing on long reads, fan and gaming content - it would be an understatement to say it’s a privilege for the regular LondonWorld writer: “I wanted to play football and the fact that I could not make it there, I made it a point to then work in football and that is why I’m so proud of my journey. There is certainly more to come,” Osman explained.

On his upbringing and love of football from an early age, he continued: “Growing up in Ghana is quite different to growing up in Europe in so many ways. In Africa, you are literally brought up by the whole community. If you got into trouble, the community would punish you even before your parents, but in Europe it’s just you and your nuclear family.

“I played football growing up and was quite good, I was called Didier Drogba by my mates and we literally played barefooted. Whenever we split our foot by hitting a stone we would sit out for two weeks and then we were back at it. It’s quite strange now looking back playing barefooted, but I guess you’re fearless when you’re a kid.”

On making it in football journalism, Osman added: “I left Ghana in 2016 in search of a career in football journalism. I first studied at the University of Westminster and it was there that I DM’d John Cross who is the Chief Football writer at the Mirror about pitching a story.

“That story was about Mo Salah who had just moved to Liverpool from AS Roma. Crossy put me through to a man called Mike Allen and followed up every day to make sure I got the story in the papers - they then offered me an internship after they found the story quite interesting. After the internship, I stayed as a freelancer there which opened more opportunities for me to do more work for places like FourFourTwo, before I joined LondonWorld.”

Don’t miss our daily World Cup live show on NationalWorld TV