Ghana midfielder Andre Ayew says he is yet to reach his full potential, expressing his gratitude to Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari for helping to overcome initial difficulties to develop in his career.
Ayew, who is the son of legend Abedi Pele, admits that his path to the top has not been easy following a virulent criticism of his qualities when he made his debut for Ghana at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
A section of the media and fans lashed out at his performance when the 17-year-old made his debut for his country in the tournament the country hosted.
His career took a nose dive with Marseille and was loaned out to Arles but his mental toughness helped him to overcome the initial difficulties to become his current French club's key player.
Ayew was named Marseille's Player of the Month this week highlighting his importance for the club over the past three seasons.
The Marseille play-maker is modest about his abilities even though he is a key players for the Black Stars going into the World Cup and reserves praise for Essien and Muntari for helping him overcome his confidence difficulties at the formative stages of his national team career.
â€œI learnt a lot from senior players when I joined the Ghana team as a very young player. The likes of [Michael] Essien and [Sulley] Muntari have been helpful," Ayew told Accra-basedÂ Asempa FM.
â€œThe beginning was not easy. I have learnt from the criticisms, rather than allowing them to hurt me. I have been made stronger.
â€œI have not done even half of what I have to offer to the Black Stars.â€
Ghanaian will expect a lot from Ayew at the World Cup and his future as the Black Stars captain is certain having led the country's U20 side to win Africa first World Cup at the youth level in 2009.