By Amakye Ansah
#12. Ghana 🇬🇭
Nickname: The Black Stars
Last Appearance: 2019
Coach: Milovan Rajevac (Serbia)
Best AFCON Results: Winners (1963,1965,1978,1982)
Skipper: Andre Dede Ayew
Player to watch: Kamal Deen Sulemana
CAF Rankings: 8
FIFA Rankings: 52
9 times finalist, alongside Egypt, two teams that have played most finals in the competition.
Winners on 4 occasions, Ghana has not won the competition for 40 years by the time the competition kicks off in January 2022. Is that not surprising? Yes, it is in every way. A country that has never lacked quality players since the 1960s when they won the competition back to back (63,65).
The team’s indifferent performance recently especially in the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers is still a massive concern for Ghanaians.
Milovan Rajevac’s second coming has gotten off to a good start because he qualified them to the final playoffs of next years FIFA World Cup in Qatar. He replaced C.K Akunnor who had a disastrous time with the team. His first spell (2008-2010) was an exciting and indescribable moment. Ghana finished as runner-up in the 2010 AFCON in Angola and reached the quarter-finals in South Africa 2010 World Cup. He is a popular figure in Ghana considering his accomplishments.
Skipper Dede Ayew will lead Black Stars in Cameroon since the legendary Asamoah Gyan was not selected for the competition for the first time since 2008. Andre Ayew is the nation’s all-time top scorer in the competition with 9 goals, a lot will be needed from him.
Youngsters like Rennes’ Kamal Deen Sulemana and Abdul Fatau Issahaku are exciting forwards and will amuse football fans in Cameroon.
Ghana is not expected to win the competition because the team is in transition but anything less than a semi-finals appearance will be distasteful.
Can The Black Stars lift the trophy? In a group with Morocco, Gabon and Comoros, Ghana is predicted to make it to the next stage of the competition.
The Core of the team
Swindon goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott is now the number 1 goalkeeper for Ghana. He has been in between the sticks in the last 4 games for The Black Stars. It seems he has been chosen by Milovan Rajevach and can be a long term number 1 for the team.
Leicester City centre back Daniel Amartey and Strasbourg’s 27-year-old defender Alexander Djiku will be the main leaders at defence.
Thomas Partey who is finding his rhythm at Arsenal will offer the team enough craft and guile in the middle for Ghana. If fit enough to play, Ajax attacking midfielder kudus will offer the team a lot.
Kamal Deen Suleymana, the Ayew brothers and youngster Issahaku Fatau will be the main threat in attack for The Black Stars.
Jojo Wollacott (GK)
Daniel Amartey, Alexander Djiku, Baba Rahman, Andy Yiadom (DF)
Baba Idrissu, Thomas Teye Partey (DM)
Dede Ayew, Kamal Deen Suleymana, Fatau Issahaku (AMF)
Jordan Ayew (ST)