Soccer News of Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Christian Atsu has been touted as the man who can carry Ghana on his shoulders ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Manager: Kwesi Appiah
Fifa world ranking: 38
World Cup Best: Quarter-final in 2010
How they qualified: Beat Egypt in the final play-off round after topping their group in the previous round, ahead of Zambia. Fixtures: Group G – United States (16 June), Germany (21 June), Portugal (26 June)
Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars).
Defenders:Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Rashid Sumalia (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Midfielders: Michael Essien (AC Milan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Christian Atsu (Vitesse on loan from Chelsea), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan).
Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke 04), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux).
Expectations: The Africans provided the sweetest surprise of the 2010 World Cup by reaching the quarter final, but they are now much more pessimistic about their chances of making history in Brazil – especially after being drawn in the group G alongside Germany and Portugal.
Nevertheless, they will fancy their chances with a team which mixes the experience of Michael Essien and Asamoah Gyan with the talent of former Liverpool target Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Chelsea prodigy Christian Atsu.
Star man: Christian Atsu – Chelsea signed him in 2013 from Porto for £3.5m and after starring this season on loan at Vitesse – scoring five goals and grabbing six assists – he wants to prove to Jose Mourinho that he deserves a place at Stamford Bridge during the World Cup.
The 22-year-old winger has already shown why he is dubbed the ‘African Messi” during qualifying for the World Cup, scoring two goals and earning a place in the final 23-man-squad.
Prediction: Group stage – Ghana expect to repeat their World Cup 2010 miracle but the truth is that Germany and Portugal are the main candidates to go through to the last 16. Even United States look a real test for the Black Stars.