John Paintsil is a Ghanaian footballer, who currently plays for Fulham.
A player comfortable at the full back or midfield position, 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.
Paintsil was referred as John Pantsil in his West Ham transfer documents, a name he has repeatedly insisted is incorrect.
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Paintsil 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. He made 46 league appearances and five appearances in the UEFA Champions League.
Hapoel Tel Aviv
In December 2004, he transferred to rivals Hapoel Tel Aviv helping them to second place in the league in 2006 and to win the Israeli State Cup in May 2006. He made 42 appearances for Hapoel, scoring three goals.
West Ham United
After the 2006 World Cup, Israeli international Yossi Benayoun recommended Paintsil to West Ham United manager Alan Pardew as the Premier League club were in need of a right-back.
Pardew took Paintsil with the rest of the squad on their pre-season tour of Sweden and he featured in the matches out there putting in some impressive performances.
In August 2006, West Ham completed the signing of Paintsil after a work permit was granted. John Paintsil was given the number 14 shirt at West Ham and competed for a place in the side with Tyrone Mears and American international, Jonathan Spector.
Upon signing for West Ham, Paintsil claimed that the club had spelt his name wrong both on his contract and on the back of his shirt. The player insisted that his name was in fact 'Paintsil', not 'Pantsil'.
This was placed into further confusion when West Ham confirmed that all of the player's official UK travel documentation and work permit carries the name 'Pantsil'.
As a result, in spite of the player's protests, the name 'Pantsil' appears on the back of his West Ham shirt to abide by the English FA rules.
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 African Cup of Nations.
However, the defender remained at West Ham United 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.
On 15 July 2008, Paintsil (or as he is known at Fulham: Pantsil) and team mate Bobby Zamora completed their move to Fulham for a combined transfer fee of £6.3 million. He became a first team regular during the 2008/9 season, helping the Cottagers to a record 7th place finish.
His energy, enthusiasm and popular laps of honour at the end of matches meant he quickly emerged as a fans favourite. His performances improved as the season progressed and he has retained a regular starting place in the 2009/10 season.
He was injured against Chelsea meaning that he was out for several months. However, he started in the First Team for the Everton Away game on Sunday 25th April 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.
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.
He played in all the matches of Ghana's national team in the World Cup 2006 finals, where Ghana were beaten by Brazil in the second round.
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. Afterwards the Ghanaian Football Association issued an apology, and said of Paintsil "He was naive".