2014 World Cup: Five key players from Ghana

Published on: 30 May 2014
2014 World Cup: Five key players from Ghana
Black Stars

Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng are both returning after extended breaks from international football to play for Ghana at the World Cup, and Andre Ayew is also likely to be one of the country's pivotal players in Brazil.

Ghana narrowly missed becoming the first African team to reach the semifinals at a World Cup when it lost to Uruguay in the quarterfinals in 2010. The Black Stars had a penalty in extra time, but missed from the spot. Uruguay won in a shootout.

The core of that to team is back for another try.

Here are five players to watch:

MICHAEL ESSIEN

Essien
Essien
Some Ghanaians have the feeling that Michael Essien owes them.

Often outstanding for European clubs Chelsea, Real Madrid and now AC Milan, the hard-working central midfielder has missed many of Ghana's big moments recently, including the last World Cup, because of injuries and then his sabbatical.

The 31-year-old Essien returned to the squad last year and his ability to power Ghana's World Cup challenge from the middle of the field may be crucial to the Black Stars' hopes of reaching the latter stages.

KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG

Kevin Boateng
Kevin Boateng
Having Kevin-Prince Boateng in the starting lineup has been a rare luxury for Ghana in the four years since the last World Cup.

Boateng made himself unavailable for selection in 2011 and only returned late last year for the end of the qualifying campaign for Brazil, when he was eased back into the team by Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah.

He scored in the last playoff match against Egypt and offers big-game experience from Europe's top leagues.

A German youth international from under-15 level, Boateng chose Ghana, his father's country, at senior level. His brother Jerome plays for Germany, which Ghana will face in the group stage at the World Cup.

ASAMOAH GYAN

Asamoah Gyan
Asamoah Gyan
Ghana's leader from the front, Asamoah Gyan hasn't always had the happiest time playing for his country.

Gyan missed a crucial penalty in extra time against Uruguay that could have put the Black Stars into the 2010 World Cup semifinals. He also missed from the spot in the semifinals of the African Cup in 2012 as Ghana was eliminated.

The 28-year-old forward has taken on the captaincy and often fights a lone battle as Ghana's solitary striker.

KWADWO ASAMOAH

Kwadwo Asamoah
Kwadwo Asamoah
A defender or midfielder, Kwadwo Asamoah is versatile and valuable.

Asamoah plays on the left side of defense or midfield and can also operate as a central midfielder with the ability to push forward and create and score goals.

At 25, the Juventus player already has six years of experience with Ghana and six years in Serie A.

ANDRE AYEW

Andre Ayew
Andre Ayew
The son of Abedi Pele, who is still recognized as Ghana's best player ever, Andre Ayew comes from the closest thing to Ghanaian football royalty.

The 24-year-old winger has pace and skill and can also play as a second striker, but has sometimes been a troublesome figure in the Ghana setup.

Ayew was excluded from the squad for the last African Cup after failing to report for duty at a pre-tournament training camp. He has since made up with coach Kewsi Appiah and is one of Ghana's most creative players.

 

 

Comments

  • Kwabena
    says: 5 years ago
    No! The only player who could be among the key players for Ghana in this list is Kwadwo Asamoah. Michael Essien has lost his strength, pace and the power due to injury and old age. His ability to wrestle ball from opponents without commiting foul has eluded him. He cannot give accurate passes or deal with 50-50 balls. These days you often see him running away from tackles to avoid being disgraced at the detriment of his team. No wonder seedorf was keeping him at the bench. Dede just return from injury and might not be at his best form. Kevin has recurring knee problem and might not be able to add that steel he has into his game. We are yet to see how Asamoah Gyan will fare against these top defenders as the league he is now applying his trade is not the best, with Ghana league even faring better than that league in terms of talents. So i disagree with you if you say the five are our key players.
  • Kenneth County
    says: 5 years ago
    I hope all those who make the squad play well. But personally if I am to name anyone whom I think will make his mark, that will be David Accam if he makes the cut. He is not well known internationally and I believe he can be our secret weapon: to be unleashed into the action to use his tremendous speed to bamboozle defenders especially in the final quarter of games.
  • kobby
    says: 5 years ago
    Kwabena bro lets be realistic these five players are absolutely crucial and we all know that when they bring their best form they are not human. Essien may be not the bison that we know and love but the leadership and experience that he brings cant be denied. Of course we have players like Atsu and Waris who are defenders nightmare but what the top five bring is extremely problematic
  • Kastro Pinto Pierre
    says: 5 years ago
    Hmmmmm...Boyz kasa dodo. We all bore witness to the contributions Essien and Kelvin brought into our game plan in the dying embers of qualifiers. Though they are battling with injuries, I belief they will make our nation proud and this tournament will be good for us and we will pull much surprises trust me! Go Ghana, Go Blacks stars!!!!
  • Ken
    says: 5 years ago
    What has Muntari done to be respected like this? Have we forgotten that he is second to Asamoah Gyan in world cup goals?
  • Kwame Adu-Gyamfi
    says: 5 years ago
    I agree with Ken. Muntari is one of the most consistent players for the BS and Milan. He is strong in the tackle, has p,e Ty of experience, and a dangerous left foot which we saw in his last game with Milan against Sassulo. Don't count him out either
  • jose
    says: 5 years ago
    #TakeJordanToBrazil #BlackStars
  • kofi abas
    says: 5 years ago
    why not muntari instead of essien? also I will include schlupp and acquah. my starting 11 1.adam 2.opare 3.schlupp 4.mensah 5.akamenko 6.acquah 7.boateng 8.asamoah 9.gyan 10.muntari 11.dede
  • Basito
    says: 5 years ago
    It's hard to beat someone who never gives up....GSN what has Mintari done you? muntari just recovered from injury but he is still better than Dede,essien and Kpb so and he second to Asamoah Gyan with Goals in Bs So why should you have to exclude him in from the five players choosen no matter what you do the sky is his limit.
  • pk
    says: 5 years ago
    Please leave Michael alone because if not for his stellar contribution, perhaps Ghana won't be at the world cup. The ex-Zambia coach HR made reference to Essien"s contribution to the win over his team in Kumasi. The amazing French legend Zidane played with measured speed and brains and was brilliant.ME uses his head well. Please leave him alone. At this crucial period what the team and management need is support and encouragement.
  • Felix OJ
    says: 5 years ago
    I hope AA talk to the players of arguing with referees and saying shit which lands them a card like DEDE did in 2010 WORLD CUP vs USA...I was like shut up DEDE shut up we need u for the quarter final then I saw the yellow and mixes Nxt match and I was like damn u DEDE...lol
  • Kwaku
    says: 5 years ago
    Essien must start every game but must not play full throttle especially if we have the lead. I think Kwesi appiah should be looking at 60 to 70 minutes for essien. Badu and acquah can replace him and help inject more pace and strength for counter attacks and back the defense up as well. We really do have a good team, we must go for 9 points in the group stage.
  • Ambiguity
    says: 5 years ago
    infact muntari should be praise. Footboll is not abt name but is what u re capable of doing.letz be real n analyz dis well.i dont know who broght dis but muntari should be consided even b4 de first player on ur list sofaras black stars essis.