Cannavaro was too tough to go past - Asamoah Gyan reflects on World Cup game against Italy

Published on: 15 April 2024

Former Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan has shared insights into one of the toughest challenges he faced during his illustrious career, recalling the World Cup encounter against Italy and the formidable defender Fabio Cannavaro.

In an interview with Onua TV, Gyan revealed that the match against Italy in the 2006 World Cup posed the toughest test for him as a Black Stars player, attributing it to the resilience of Cannavaro.

"Italy was the toughest opponent I faced as a Black Stars player. Cannavaro was too tough to go past. I believed in my capacity to outclass defenders, but he was too good for me," Gyan confessed.

Ghana's debut appearance in the global tournament saw them facing Italy in their opening game, which ended in a 2-0 defeat. Despite the setback, Gyan found his stride in the subsequent match against the Czech Republic, where he scored his first-ever World Cup goal.

Reflecting on Cannavaro's defensive prowess, Gyan acknowledged the Italian's exceptional skills, noting his Ballon d'Or win that year and his partnership with Nesta in fortifying Italy's defense.

Ghana's advancement to the round of 16 marked a historic milestone for the nation, highlighting their emergence on the global stage.

Meanwhile, Italy went on to clinch the World Cup trophy after defeating France in the final, further cementing Cannavaro's status as one of the tournament's standout performers.

Gyan's personal journey in the World Cup continued to flourish as he went on to score five more goals, totaling six overall, establishing himself as the highest-scoring African player in the tournament's history.

Upon retiring from professional football, Gyan left an indelible mark on Ghanaian football, amassing 51 goals for the national team, a record that remains unmatched to date.

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