The talent of Ghanaian players make them one of the most touted countries for clubs to set you a scouting network. With that comes numerous cases down the years when these players have gone on to have wonderful careers in Europe.
Much like with Club Royale, it can be incredibly lucrative. The attraction for these players to play in Europe not only means that they have the ability to test themselves against the very best, but it can also give them a much better life, and one that they may never have believed to be possible. There have been many African players down the years that have left their mark on the European game.
Players such as Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto'o are just two that spring to mind. But, there aren't many countries that can claim to have had a lasting impression like the Ghanian players have had. Some of them haven't just achieved success in one country, but also across the board. Here are just a few examples of the talented players that have thrived throughout their careers in Europe.
The most notable player to have achieved sustained success wherever he has gone is Sulley Muntari. He began his career with Liberty Professionals in Ghana before being scouted by Italian club Udinese. He enjoyed an excellent career in Serie A and went on to play for three of the biggest clubs in the country.
During his first stint in Italy, he made 125 appearances for Udinese and became an integral member of a talented team that also contained Alexis Sanchez. His eye for a pass and hard-work made him a firm fan favourite at the Italian club, but the one element to his game that he was told to amend was his discipline. In his final season with the club, he was sent off on three occasions. However, his performances saw him gain an international reputation and Premier League club Portsmouth made their move for the midfielder.
His time with Pompey was when his star firmly began to rise. He formed an incredible partnership in the midfield with Niko Kranjcar, and he played every game in the FA Cup. During the cup competition, he scored the winning penalty in a Sixth Round tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford and then played in the final of the tournament as Portsmouth won the prestigious competition for the first time since 1939. His performances saw him make a return to Serie A with Inter Milan.
He had a remarkable first season with the club which ended in Inter winning the Serie A title, but the following season he would eclipse that. He would play 42 games in the 2009-10 season as the club won their first-ever treble. He played for two more seasons at the club before seeking a move away after falling out with the manager. Muntari moved back to England and helped Sunderland maintain their top-flight status, before moving on to AC Milan for a three-year stay. No player from Ghana can claim to have had as much success at Muntari, and he will forever be remembered as a player that achieved success wherever he went.
The only player that could claim to have bettered the success of Muntari is Michael Essien. After rising to prominence during his time in France with Lyon, he made a move to Chelsea in 2005. He quickly became the ideal replacement for legendary French midfielder Claude Makelele, and he was a crucial member of the famous Chelsea team under Jose Mourinho.
His box-to-box talents, which included winning the ball, passing and lung-bursting runs. While at Chelsea, Essien won everything that there was to win. His role of honours included two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup and the Champions League during his final season with the club. His best seasons for the club came between 2005 and 2007 as was evident by the list of personal honours that he picked up. During that time, he won the BBC African Footballer of the Year, the Ghana Player of the Year and the Chelsea Player of the Season.
After falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, he moved on for a season at Real Madrid, before moving to AC Milan and then Panathinaikos. Essien's will to work hard has seen him continue playing up to this present day with Sabail in Azerbijan, and even at 36-years-old, it looks unlikely that he will be retiring any time soon.
There aren't many players that have left a lasting impression on the Premier League like Tony Yeboah has. He remains a hugely popular figure in the English games, and his timeless strikes for Leeds United remain in the achieve footage and are showed repeatedly throughout the season. He made his name as a lethal finisher during a five-year stay with Eintracht Frankfurt between 1990 and 1995. During that period he won the Bundesliga golden boot in two consecutive seasons and was named in the 1993 and 1994 Bundesliga team of the season.
In 1993 he also came ninth in the FIFA World Player of the Year rankings, and after 68 goals in his five seasons in Germany, he made a move to England and signed with Leeds United. He became the second foreign player to score a league hat-trick for Leeds during his second season, and he also won the club's player of the season accolade in that same season. Yeboah scored two memorable goals in that same season, with a strike against Wimbledon being named as goal of the season.
However, things went soar following the arrival of George Graham and Yeboah was sold to Bundesliga side Hamburg. He scored 28 goals over 100 appearances back in Germany, before moving to Al-Ittihad for one final season playing before retiring from the sport in the summer of 2002. Yeboah's international record was also astonishing as he scored 29 goals in just 59 appearances.