By Ameenu Shardow
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Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan says his temporal retirement from international football back in 2012 is responsible for his surged form for both club and country.
The 28-year-old stunned the world by announcing he was taking a break from Black Stars duty in the aftermath of Ghanaâ€™s disappointing finish at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations where he missed a crucial penalty in the semi finals against eventual winners Zambia.
Gyan suffered a heavy backlash from heartbroken Ghanaian fans who had not forgotten his painful penalty miss in the last minute of the quarter final defeat to Uruguay at the 2010 World Cup.
The Al Ain ace claimed at the time he needed to take the break in order to bounce back strongly which he did in grand fashion.
The former Sunderland hitman led the Black Stars to a third successive World Cup qualification and emerged the top scorer in the qualifiers.
He has also been on fire since moving to the UAE club Al Ain where he has finished the season as the top scorer in the past two campaigns.
Gyan now credits his five-month break from international football back in 2012 for his enhanced form for both club and country.
â€œPeople really didnâ€™t understand why I took time off the national team but upon hindsight it is the best decision I took at the time,â€ he told Asempa FM.
â€œI am a very strong person mentally but during that period I was really down and needed to really psyche myself up in order for me to come back strongly.
â€œAnd when I returned everybody saw my performance. I even became the top scorer in the qualifiers.â€
The Black Stars captain is now just a goal shy from equalling the all-time leading scorer for Ghana record jointly held by Edward Acquah and Kwesi Owusu.