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Sports News of Friday, 20 August 2021

Source: ghanasoccernet.com

Senior members surprised by unique Andre Ayew’s leadership

Black Stars captain, Andre Ayew Black Stars captain, Andre Ayew

Technical team members and some senior players of the Black Stars have been blown away by the leadership skills of captain Andre Dede Ayew.

The Al Sadd forward was named captain in 2019, a few weeks short of the Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Egypt that year.

Some fans questioned the timing of his appointment especially after Ghana crushed out of the competition at the knockout stage.

Two years down the line, Ayew has won over his critics and created an atmosphere that allows both experienced and those coming through to thrive in the team.

“He is the best captain,” beamed one of the midfielders who wanted to stay anonymous.

“To be fair the timing wasn’t the best to name him captain but he’s come in and done a great job.

“He is regularly checking on all the players, speaking on our welfare and cracking jobs just so we can all enjoy when we are away with the team.

“Everyone and their luck and he’s been lucky to have played for some of the big teams in Europe so he naturally commands the respect but he doesn’t just shove it in your face.”

The former West Ham and Swansea man is arriving in Ghana next week for the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe.

Reports within the Ayew camp say he is desperate to lead the Black Stars to Africa Cup of Nations glory and secure a ticket for the World Cup in Qatar next year.

“He’s in the best shape and is looking really good,” a member of his team said.

“He’s keen on going on and helping the Black Stars as he sees it as a duty to lead the team to glory next year.

“A lot of people don’t know him but when he sets his sights on something he is very keen on seeing it through and succeeding.”

5 facts about the Ghana Black Stars at a glance:

- Ghana has won the AFCON on four occasions, 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982.

- However, since 1982, the team has lost all three finals it’s been in, 1992, 2010 and 2015

- Egypt is the only country that has won AFCON trophies than the Blacks Stars, the North Africans have seven

- The Blacks Stars had the youngest average age at the 2006 FIFA World Cup with an average age of 23 years

- The Black Stars became only the third African team to reach the quarter finals of the FIFA World in 2010, coming within minutes of reaching the semi-final only to be denied by a Luis Suarez's hand ball incident.