Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ghana set to recall Essien and Boateng

New Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah is contemplating recalling star names Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zambia in June, following an injury to playmaker Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew.

The Marseille-based Ayew has been ruled out of action for two months after undergoing an operation to a troublesome shoulder in Lyon on Tuesday.

His injury has opened up space in the Black Stars squad, and maybe see the return of Essien and Boateng.

Michael Essien could make a long-awaited return
to Black Stars colours...

Chelsea’s Essien has recovered from an injury which saw him miss the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) earlier in the year.

Boateng meanwhile quit the Black Stars last year citing the physical demands of playing for both club and country at the highest level. It was rumoured though that Boateng had clashed with former Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic, nevertheless Appiah is hopeful of persuading the AC Milan midfielder to return.

“It has been difficult talking to Boateng directly but I have succeeded in making some significant contacts, so I intend to fly out to Milan pretty shortly to talk to him and to assure him of his importance to the team,” Appiah said.

Appiah nevertheless admitted Ayew’s absence will be a massive blow for Ghana, adding Ayew had become an integral member of the Black Stars since he broke into the team in 2008.

“There is no doubt Andre will be missed for the two games. His character and team spirit has played an influential role in the team’s impressive performances at the 2010 and 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals,” he said.
And so too Kevin-Prince Boateng
Ghana host Lesotho in their first World Cup qualifier on June 2. The Black Stars will then set up a training camp in South Africa ahead of a June 9 qualifier against African champions Zambia.

The Ghana Football Association has mandated Appiah to not only win the 2013 Afcon in South Africa, but to also qualify the Black Stars for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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