Thomas Teye Partey (born 13 June 1993) is a Ghanaian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the Ghana national team.
In Partey’s football career, He has spent most of his career with Atlético Madrid, making over 150 competitive appearances. A full Ghana international since 2016, he represented the nation at two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
Born in Krobo Odumase, Thomas was a product of local Odometah FC’s youth ranks. He signed a contract with Atlético Madrid in 2011 and was subsequently moved to the reserves a year later. On 10 March 2013, Thomas was called up to the main squad for the match against Real Sociedad. However, he remained unused in the eventual 0–1 home defeat.
Loans to Mallorca and Almería
On 12 July, Thomas was loaned to RCD Mallorca, freshly relegated to the second level. On 18 August, he made his professional debut, in a 0–4 away defeat against CE Sabadell FC. Thomas scored his first professional goal on 15 September, netting his side’s second of a 2–2 draw at Hércules CF.
On 27 July 2014, Thomas joined La Liga side UD Almería also in a temporary deal. He made his debut in the competition on 23 August, starting in a 1–1 home draw against RCD Espanyol. Thomas scored his first goals in the main category of Spanish football on 11 April 2015, netting a brace in a 3–0 home win against Granada CF.
Return to Atlético Madrid
He made his first-team debut for Atleti on 28 November 2015, replacing Luciano Vietto in a 1–0 home win against Espanyol. On 2 January of the following year, he scored his first league goal for the club, netting the game’s only goal in a home success over Levante UD. On 28 May, Thomas played in the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, replacing Koke in the 116th minute as his side lost on penalties.
Thomas signed a contract extension with Atleti through 2022 on 14 February 2017. On 31 October he scored his first European goal with a long-range strike to equalise at home to FK Qarabag in a 1–1 draw in the Champions League group game; he became the first African to score in the competition for Atlético.
Following his impressive performances for the club, he was rewarded with another contract on 1 March 2018, this time until 2023. That 16 May, he came on for the final two minutes in a 3–0 win over Olympique de Marseille in the 2018 UEFA Europa League Final.
On 1 September 2019, Thomas came on as a late substitute and netted the match’s winner in the last minute of the game, as Atlético came back from 2–0 down to win the game by 3–2 against Eibar. Four weeks later, he marked his 100th La Liga appearance for Los Rojiblancos with a man-of-the-match performance in a 0–0 draw against Real Madrid in Madrid Derby.
In May 2016, Thomas was called up for the first time to the Ghana national team by manager Avram Grant, ahead of a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Mauritius.
He made his debut on 5 June, replacing Frank Acheampong for the final 11 minutes of a 2–0 away win that booked the Black Stars’ position in the finals. On 5 September 2017, Thomas scored his first international hat-trick in a 5–1 win against Congo in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification.
Thomas was chosen in Kwesi Appiah’s 23-man squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. In their last group game, he scored in a 2–0 win over Guinea-Bissau at the Suez Stadium as the Black Stars topped their group. He netted in the penalty shootout at the end of the last-16 game against Tunisia on 8 July, though his team was eliminated. Thomas won the Ghana Player of the Year award in 2018 and 2019.
Thomas Partey’s parents had several failed attempts to raise money to prepare for his son’s trip to Europe in case an opportunity came.
It got to a point where his father had to arrive at the decision to sell his property. Thomas was given his chance to move to Spain when he was observed by an agent who saw him standing out in a football competition.
Although there was someone better than the player, he bluntly refused an offer to travel for Europe instead insisting he wants to remain in Ghana to play for a bigger club. According to Thomas.
Both Thomas and the agent agreed he would go to Spain for trial. However, no Spanish team was discussed as it was a surprise package. Thomas’ agent processed all of his papers while he had nothing to do other than to train, eat, slept and wait for that blessed day he would travel.
On that blessed day, Thomas and his agent got into a car, went to Accra, the capital of Ghana where he was given his passport. Shockingly, he was told he would travel that day without his dad or any member of his family being told.
Thomas travelled to Spain without the knowledge of his family. Upon approaching, he realized he was to play with Athletico Madrid FC.
Achievement In Career
UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2015–16
UEFA Europa League: 2017–18
UEFA Super Cup: 2018
CAF Team of the Year: 2018
Ghana Player of the Year: 2018, 201