Ghana duo Waris and Mensah clash in French Ligue 1 pre-match war of words
Black Stars players Abdul Majeed Waris and Jonathan Mensah are bragging about their teams’ chances ahead of Saturday’s face-off in the French Ligue 1.
Majeed Waris will lead relegation-trapped Valenciennes to the Parc des Sports in Annecy where they clash with fellow struggling side Evian Thonon Gaillard who have defender Jonathan Mensah in their fold.
The duo will rarely come face-to-face on Saturday as they seek victory for their under-performing clubs and the two friends have been talking about their sides’ chances ahead of the game in a cross-interview.
Enjoy the excerpts below.
Both of you recorded victories in your games last weekend. How can you describe both wins for your clubs.
Majeed Waris: “This victory against Rennes did us good We conceded the first goal, but we continued to fight until the end and finally we emerged with victory. ”
Jonathan Mensah: “This win against Guingamp was good everyone in the team – players, staff and supporters. It was a long time since we won away or even won two games on a row but we worked hard for sometime and it has began to pay off for us. It was really a tough victory for us. Guingamp put us in trouble.
Saturday’s match is a very important tie for both teams. How are you prepared mentally for the game?
Jonathan Mensah: “We are in good momentum and we must ensure we continue to win but Valenciennes have a good squad and play quality football and this include a very potent attack.
Majeed Waris: “Compared to Saturday’s game, everybody in the group understands how important it is for us to win. So we’ll go into the game with all the importance it deserves.”
Ahead of the 2014 World Cup where you guys will be playing for Ghana, hopefully, how do you take this game when you will be potentially playing against each other?
Majeed Waris: “Jonathan is my best friend and it’ll be fun to play against him. I think it is still too early to think about the World Cup, even though it is at the corner of everyone’s mind. Before that, it is important to do good things for our clubs because that is what helps you to be part of the World Cup squad that will play in Brazil in June.”
Jonathan Mensah: “I’m glad to play against Waris but unfortunately everyone wants to win and there will be no friends on the pitch but we can be friends against after the final whistle. In the national team, we are always close and together but this Saturday, we will be enemies on the pitch and we will do everything to win the game. Talk about the World Cup is true. We regularly talk about it when we are in team and always send messages to discuss about June.
Nonetheless it is important to recognise that we have to help our clubs first before we think about the World Cup.
What do you wish each other before the end of the season?
Majeed Waris: “I hope he doesn’t get injured before the end of the season and wish him good luck in the matches that follow … And I hope that our two clubs remain in Ligue 1.
Jonathan Mensah: “I wish Waris and his club the best of luck in the season. I’m happy because he has played well since his arrival at Valenciennes and I want him to score many more goals but sorry MAN! Not on Saturday. It is crucial for us and we will win.”
Waris has already scored against John Boye, international team-mate and Jonathan Mensah could face a similar fate as he is in a good shape.