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Jeremie Frimpong

Featuring bespoke ring by AJ Jewels

'Crafted with the heart of a champion'

Photographer: Scott Redinger-Libolt Videographer: Oliver Hayes Jeweller: AJ Jewels Clothing: Nanushka & Mauvais

Finishing as champion of the Bundesliga with five games to play, an integral cog in Leverkusen’s unprecedented double-winning campaign – the first ever team in the German top flight to go a whole season unbeaten – this revelatory right-back, enigmatic personality, fashion figure and born winner is at the peak of his capabilities.

Jeremie Frimpong is at the crest of a wave.

But what sets Jeremie apart? Like any other young football talent performing well for both his club and country, he is touted to be the next megastar and attracting glances from wealthy clubs across the world – undoubtedly due to the fact he is a 23-year-old right-back with a 23 goal return in the past two seasons. But for some reason Frimpong seems to capture attention like no other. His aura, enigmatic in essence, loud and proud in delivery, breathes the fun back into football. 

In a world exclusive, Sports World speak to Jeremie at his family home just before he jets off to Germany to represent the Netherlands at EURO 2024 – Frimpong’s first involvement in a major International tournament for his country. He has just returned from Leverkusen’s double trophy presentation, a two-day celebration which took place 48 hours after their DFB-Pokal cup final victory and five days after the Europa League Final in which they suffered their first loss of the season. At the culmination of such an extraordinarily hectic period, and nine months of intense professional football, you wouldn’t blame Jeremie for feeling a little flat. But what we encounter is the exact antithesis. 

He greets us with a huge smile, his nephew playfully thrust over his shoulder and as always, football on the television. This is authentically Jeremie, relaxed but with a laser focus on what’s to come. When Bayer Leverkusen won their first ever Bundesliga title, going unbeaten in the process, Frimpong is caught in a sea of red jerseys as twenty thousand fans swarm the pitch. Space is closing in, he is being grabbed – by all means virtuously – but grabbed in every direction, and his immediate reaction is to thrust himself aloft the arms of his supporters and go live on Instagram leading fans in a chorus of chants. He goes viral on social media as a result (not for the first time and certainly not the last). Whether he’s at home with family or on the field with fans, being around people is Jeremie’s happy place. 

“What brings me the most joy? My teammates, family, and just having good people around me,” Jeremy tells us. Frimpong’s family are originally from Ghana. He was born in Amsterdam as the fifth child of seven, and when his parents split up, Frimpong, aged six, relocated to Clayton — a suburb of east Manchester — with his mother and siblings. Jeremie played for AFC Clayton on Saturday mornings and would then turn out for Clayton Villa a few hours later. Aged nine, he was scouted by Manchester City and placed in their academy.

In nine years at City he failed to make a senior appearance and joined Celtic in 2019 at the age of 18. Somewhat of a fall from grace, it turned out to be one of the major moments in Jeremie’s life, and has fed his relentless appetite for success. Not only was his ability questioned, but he was moving away from his teammates: “It was the most difficult moment for me. Moving away from the friends who I had seen more than my family, seeing them every single day to not at all. I didn’t take it well.” 

So much so that Jeremie nearly told the taxi to turn around on his way to the airport. But his trust in his family members encouraged him to go forth without fear: “I spoke with my family, and I realised, this is my own path,” he says. “From that moment on, I focused on what I wanted to become.” Frimpong’s ascent at Celtic was so rapid that within 18 months he left for a new challenge with Bayer Leverkusen in Germany. The wing-back’s form has hit new heights under the former Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, playing a huge part in the club becoming the first team in German Bundesliga history to go a full domestic campaign undefeated and achieving the coveted double by winning the German Cup. 

So what is it about Jeremie that has seen him have such a turn of fortune? Is it down to luck, hard work or something deeper? In reality it’s a mixture of all of those things, but what is starkly noticeable about Frimpong is his absolute love for fans and the so-called ‘normal’ things in life. This helps him to connect with the club, the culture and subsequently cement his position as one of world football’s most exciting prospects. There has always been a distinction between footballer and fan, a celebrity glamorisation driving a wedge between sports stars and spectators which arguably causes a disconnect on and off the pitch, but unlike other players in his fated position, Jeremie’s openness as a person has helped to bridge the gap.

“What you see online is me. I’m just a normal, happy guy, there’s no secrets!” He tells us. “There’s nothing fake about me. Like, if anyone ever asked me to change, I couldn’t because that’s just how I am. I feel like I am one of the fans.” 

“When we won the league, I couldn’t believe it was happening. We’re all celebrating, and fans are running onto the pitch congratulating me,” Frimpong reflects. “That was the best moment in my life and in my career, no doubt.”

“But at the end of the day, we’re all just humans who play football. We’re not above fans, we just play for the team that they support.”

Friendships can manifest themselves anywhere. But when it happens on the football pitch, greatness ensues. It’s an instinctual bond that can be the difference between a win and a loss, creating immeasurable moments of magic and birthing legends to leave a legacy. Leverkusen have honed that notion, creating an unbreakable bond in their dressing room through a self-confessed band of brothers – and Frimpong is front and centre. 

“This team is special, so special.” He says. “We’ve got an amazing coach amazing staff, amazing people around us, even in preseason we knew we could win something. The feeling has always been there, everyone is eager to win and everyone fights for each other. We play with enjoyment, and seriousness.” 

But how has this squad been leaps and bounds ahead of the opposition? “We painted frogs,” Jeremie says. “For instance, it was it was Eddie’s [Edmond Tapsoba] birthday and his partner invited us around to do a painting party. We were all in his house, and we painted a picture of a frog. We just know each other so well because of these moments of hanging out.” 

It’s clear – harnessing real friendships beyond the dressing room is a recipe for resounding success. 

Frimpong is part of a new mould of modern footballer. With a low centre of gravity, explosive speed and clear goalscoring threat – of a similar ilk to Karim Adeyemi and Bukayo Saka – there seems to be a trend of culturally-aware footballers who are short in stature, free-thinking in fashion and connected with modern culture like never before. Jeremie likes to play video games, with Anime – a computer-generated animation originating from Japan which is gaining popularity amongst the world’s best footballers – being of particular interest, and he loves curating outfits. 

Just as Japan’s Anime has made waves in the entertainment sector, the proliferation of American style throughout the sport and lifestyle space is also hard to ignore. NBA and NFL stars, Hollywood actors and signers set the tone and others seem to follow suit, with baggy, oversized garments with statement features, exceptional tailoring and glamorous jewellery becoming part of a footballer’s wardrobe staples. Jeremie is no different, with his outfits heavily inspired by what he sees on Instagram from major NBA players. 

“I love NBA, I watch it quite often.

When I plan an outfit, I like to see what Basketball players like Jason Tatum and Jordan Clarkson are wearing and if I see something I like, I’ll take a screenshot and send it to my stylist.” 

This forms the basis of the free-flowing clean looks that have became synonymous with Jeremie’s personality, another example of dressing and demeanour going hand-in-hand for footballers. Bold colours, elaborate designs and statement jewellery creates Frimpong’s fashion blueprint, which allows him to exercise his energetic, larger-than-life self.

In a collaboration with luxury fashion brands MAUVAIS and Nanushka, Sports World styled Frimpong in synergy with his personal aesthetic in a studio in the confides of Cologne, where Jeremie now lives. Founded in by Sandra Sándor, Nanushka is a Budapest-based fashion house dedicated to craftsmanship, detail and responsible production. Organic shapes and inspiration from 90s minimalism infuse their pieces, and formed the bedrock of our cover image – the iconic pink silk viscose tweed vest and pants paired with a neckerchief which brought light to Jeremie’s playful character and in his words, opened his eyes to a new way of old-Hollywood-style dressing. 

“It was a different style for me, but I loved it,” says Jeremie. “I never really wear suits, so I like that it’s a modern take on a suit with the cropped shoulders. You know what? I think I’m going to try a turtleneck under a suit next time, it’s very gentleman like.” 

Masters of the co-ord, British brand MAUVAIS created cool summer looks with on-trend tonal and textured two-pieces, mixing comfort with luxury effortlessly. This style of clothing is an important part of Jeremie’s summer wardrobe; soft fabrics which fall freely on the body and allow for a relaxed, refined look. “I loved the cream coloured towel polo shirt. It was clean and simple, something I would reach for when on holiday.” 

Sports World were proud to work with esteemed luxury jewellers, AJ Jewels to handcraft a diamond ring for Jeremie. Crafted with the heart of a champion, the custom ring encapsulates the essence of triumph and the underlying spirit of Jeremie and Bayer Leverkusen, giving him a special piece to commemorate his and his teammates achievements forever. One of the many unique collaborations SW have brokered for professional players. 

At the core of the ring, a turnable surface with the club’s logo reveals the Bundesliga Cup which when turned over, while the body is constructed of white and black diamonds reading 30 – Frimpong’s shirt number 30, and red rubies and yellow sapphires pay tribute to the club’s colours. The ring’s unique design features a detailed lining reminiscent of a goal net, cradling a miniature football that moves freely, symbolising the endless pursuit of excellence. 

The pronounced level of detail and craftsmanship involved in the production of the ring is something Jeremie will remember forever, two traits which have epitomised AJ Jewels’ famed reputation as personal purveyors of truly incredible customised jewellery. “It’s special, a really incredible piece that tells the story of our season” he says. “For Sports World and AJ Jewels to have created this for me, I am so grateful.” 

After being selected in the squad but failing to make an appearance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the 2024 European Championships will be Frimpong’s first appearance at a major tournament for the Netherlands and hands him an opportunity to lay an indelible mark on Europe’s biggest footballing stage – all in the country he now calls home. 

So what can we expect from Jeremie in the next chapter of his career? If one thing is for sure, it’s that he’s prepared for the journey. He tells us, with no hesitation, that the one album he would listen to the rest of his life is Meek Mill – Wins and Losses, an album that tells a story of the ups, downs, achievements and struggles that come our way in a lifetime. Jeremie isn’t afraid to face challenges head-on. He knows there will be testing moments in his journey to the very top, but what’s clear is the strength engrained deep within him which sets him apart. His reliance on friends, family and the simple joy of living makes him an exceptional person, a relatable figure and someone with potential to become one of the best players in his position across world football. 

Fearless, relatable and unspeakably authentic. Frimpong has reinvented himself as one of Europe’s hottest prospects, redefining the art of a wing-back with attacking prowess and finishing finesse. But his talent seems to be secondary to his refreshing approach to life. This is an exceptional personality that lights up any room, studio or stadium he finds himself in, opening doors for a new age of modern footballers to speak and show their truth in a new online world. This is a person who has been told no, he’s too short, too weak and despite all odds stacking up against him, has persevered – and is a shining example of what can be achieved through sheer hard work, and a winning smile. 

“No one can tell you, you aren’t enough. Nobody can say you can’t do it, or you’re too small, or you’re too weak. You can do anything you want.