Soccer News of Saturday, 7 June 2014
Everything-you-need-to-know team Ghana as we countdown to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
How they qualified
Top scorers in qualifying, making light work of their preliminary group and then demolishing Egypt 7-3 over two legs.
World Cup high
Reaching the quarter-final in 2010 on only their second appearance in the competition.
World Cup low
Being eliminated from the tournament thanks to a grinning Luis Suarez and his goal-line handball.
Michael Essien (Chelsea), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).
Kwesi Appiah is the first black African coach to take Ghana to the World Cup, and spent a week at Manchester City studying Roberto Mancini earlier this year.
How in danger is he? 8/10
Most likely to light up Brazil
Asamoah Gyan. Has been a revelation since returning to international football last year and taking over the national captaincy.
Most likely to be sent home in disgrace
Kevin-Prince Boateng has matured since his shoe-buying days at Tottenham, but remains something of a loose cannon.
Title odds: 150/1
The stereotype is …
Expressive, crowd-pleasing football with a nice line in dance celebrations. The reality is …
A cautious style, based on a powerful midfield, a rock-solid defence and playing on the counter-attack.
What are they known for?
Booming second-world economy 46 per cent
People called Boateng 30 per cent
Gold 20 per cent
Kofi Annan 4 per cent
How Brazilian are they?
Quite Brazilian, both in terms of their national colours (yellow, green and red) and the fact that their carefree image belies a core of pure steel.
How Google translates the national anthem
God bless our homeland Ghana, And make our nation great and strong, Bold to defend forever The cause of Freedom and of Right;
Around two minutes, if all three verses are sung.
How to dress like their fans
Lots and lots of paint. Face paint, body paint, hair paint. As a rule of thumb, if your friends can still recognise you, apply more paint.
Commentator’s go-to stat
One of the country’s major motorways is named after George W Bush. It’s well-kept, but sometimes it gets its junctions mixed up.