Andre Ayew has endured some difficult periods in his career but he is also easily the most successful Ghanaian footballer of our time.
He’s just won his first trophy with Qatar giants Al Sadd and will be key if Ghana is to bring an end to more than 30 years of hurt at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Criticism is part of football but do fans go overboard when they question his impact and contribution to the Black Stars.
WIth heads split over what role Ayew should be playing in the Black Stars, here are 10 reasons why the former Swansea man still deserves more respect than he is currently getting.
Dedicated to the Black Stars
Andre Ayew is currently the longest-serving member of the Black Stars and has 98 caps to show for it.
Only Asamoah Gyan (109) has played more, yet there is always the feeling that he is under-appreciated.
Ayew has scored 21 goals and 20 assists to his name, which is a goal contribution every other game.
His self discipline also means he has been with the team 13 years, in any part of the world that is a legend right there and should be treated as such.
Every winning team has experienced players and Andre Ayew is one of the most experienced players on the Africa continent. He has more than 400 club games and has played in France, England and Turkey.
At his peak he was easily the best African player when he arrived at Swansea City and won the BBC Africa best player.
He has banks of experience that will be key for Ghana if they are to win the AFCON next year and qualify for the World Cup.
Highest scoring Ghanaian in the last two years
In the last two years, Ayew has scored 36 goals at Swansea and led from the front when they made the Championship play-off and in that period he has been named the best player at his club by a distance.
He has also scored more goals for Ghana in that period than any other player and bagged more minutes in the Black Stars than any outfield player.
This season, he is one of the highest-scoring players at Al Sadd with five goals in his forest eight games. Only Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah has more with six goals.
Leads by Example
When times are hard and results are unacceptable he is the first player in the Black Stars set up to own and demand for more in the team.
He also plays a crucial role in the confidence and conflict resolution between players and between management and the team. He leads both on and off the pitch.
Ayew’s presence in the team is exemplified by his willingness to play in midfield against Zimbabwe despite carrying a groin injury that threatened his involvement in the Qatar Cup.
Perfect Role Model
At a time when discipline is key to sporting excellence, Andre Ayew is a brilliant example of how to be a footballing role model.
At 31, he is covering more ground in the national team than most outfield players and he is balancing his work rate with scoring crucial goals at crucial times.
It's hard to follow in the footsteps of a legend like Abedi Pele but the former West Ham striker has crafted an enviable career for himself and has broken some records his glorious father would be proud of.
Ghana’s highest score at the AFCON
The Al Sadd striker has scored nine goals for Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations, no other Ghanaian living or dead has scored more.
His record moved him up to 13th all-time on the Africa Cup of Nations goal scorers chart.
A feat like that is hard to come by and is always a reference point for young and upcoming strikers to look up to.
A proven winner
Andre Ayew was the captain when Ghana won the FIFA U-20 World Cup and there are stories that will live forever on how the team bought into his all hands on deck leadership style.
Since then, no African country has won the FIFA U-20 World Cup and if Ghana is to win the AFCON in Cameroon, he’ll be a crucial part of it.
A great communicator
Modern day football requires that players represent the teams they play for with eloquence and dexterity and Ayew embodies that.
He is firm and fair with utterances and an easy attraction to other international footballers who are always seen wanting a conversation after games.
His oratory skills will benefit the likes of Kudus and Kamal who are just starting their European adventures.
A proud Ghanaian
Not many people are so passionate about playing for their country like Andre Ayew.
When he played for Swansea City with the club pushing for Premier League promotion the striker would constantly demand that he be released every time he got called up for his national team.
He would constantly promise to score if that would mean he got his wish and travelled to play for the Black Stars.
His close circle say he chose to move to Qatar so he could reduce the number of games played at club level to enable him to be fresh for Ghana games.
Adored by his team-mates
Ajax star Mohammed Kudus is always seen walking with Ayew and Kamal and Mubarak Wakaso are just like his shadow.
Ayew is a uniting figure and his teammates see him as an open leader who is welcoming to new ideas but honest with his assessment of everyone.
One of the home-based players recently selected into the Black Stars spoke about how he was surprised by Ayew’s humility and open nature after their first encounter.
They see him as a brother figure and that is always key if you are to have a good camp and eventually go on and win something massive.