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Mubarak Wakaso

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Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Tamale, Ghana

Mubarak Wakaso is a Ghanaian footballer who plays for the Chinese club Jiangsu Suning F.C. and the Ghana national team as a midfielder.

He spent the better part of his career in Spain, starting out at Elche in 2008 and going on to also represent Villarreal, Espanyol, Las Palmas, Granada, and Alavés. He also competed professionally in Russia, Scotland, Greece, and China.

Wakaso appeared with the Ghana national team at the 2014 World Cup, as well as four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

Club career

Born in Tamale, Northern Region, Wakaso began his senior career in Ashanti Gold SC. In 2008, he moved abroad and signed with Elche CF in Spain on a five-year contract, but only joined the club nearly two months later, however, due to international duty.

In late January 2011, after several bouts of indiscipline and internal code violations, Wakaso was released by the Valencians. Shortly after, he joined another side in the region and Segunda División, Villarreal CF's B-team.

On 27 February 2011, Wakaso made his La Liga debut, coming on as a substitute for José Catalá in the last minutes of a 2–2 away draw against Racing de Santander. He only played six matches in his first full season, and the Yellow Submarine was also relegated after 12 years in the top flight.

Wakaso signed for RCD Espanyol on 11 July 2012, penning a four-year contract. He started in 23 of his league appearances for the Catalans in his first and only season.

In the last days of the 2013 summer transfer window, Wakaso moved to the Russian Premier League with FC Rubin Kazan. On 28 August 2014, he joined Celtic on a season-long loan.

Wakaso scored on his competitive debut for Celtic, netting the first in a 2–2 away draw against FC Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Europa League group stage. On 30 August 2015, after appearing rarely, he was loaned to UD Las Palmas for one year.

On 10 July 2016, Wakaso signed a three-year contract with Superleague Greece club Panathinaikos F.C. for an undisclosed fee. On 15 September, in the last minute of a Europa League group phase home fixture against AFC Ajax, he was sent off – as teammate Ivan Ivanov midway through the second half of the eventual 1–2 home loss– and UEFA subsequently suspended him a further two games after his initial ban was over.

On 1 February 2017, Wakaso was loaned to another Spanish top-flight side, Granada CF. He scored his first club for them on 1 March, helping to a 2–1 home win over Deportivo Alavés.

On 17 July 2017, the day after mutually terminating his contract, Wakaso signed a three-year deal with Alavés. He scored his only competitive goal for the Basques on 18 May 2019, in a 2–1 home defeat of Girona FC who were relegated as a result.

On 18 January 2020, Wakaso transferred to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning FC.

International career

Wakaso represented Ghana at the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru, playing two matches in an eventual group stage exit (three draws). He made his full international debut on 13 October 2012, in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi.

Wakaso scored his first goal for Ghana in a friendly with Cape Verde on 14 November 2012. He was picked for the squad that appeared at the 2013 CAN in South Africa, notably netting the game's only goal in a group stage contest against Mali, through a penalty kick, then scoring both in the 2–0 quarter-final win against Cape Verde.

Wakaso was selected by manager James Kwesi Appiah for his 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. He made his debut in the tournament on 21 June, playing 22 minutes in a 2–2 draw against Germany.

On 5 February 2015, Wakaso netted the second goal in Ghana's 3–0 win over Equatorial Guinea in the semi-final of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations to take them to the final. In the decisive match, against the Ivory Coast, he scored his penalty shootout attempt in an eventual 8–9 loss.

Personal life

Wakaso's younger brother, Alhassan, is also a footballer and a midfielder. He spent most of his career in Portugal.

Wakaso is a practicing Muslim. In October 2018, while heading to Bilbao's Loiu airport to travel to Ghana, he was unhurt following a car accident.


Chinese Super League: 2020

Africa Cup of Nations runner-up: 2015

Africa Cup of Nations top scorer: 2013 (4 goals)

Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament: 2017