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2008 Africa Cup of Nations
Ayew to follow father's footsteps
Ghana's midfield prodigy is not feeling the pressure of expectation.
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2008 11:49 GMT

Like father, like son... Abedi Pele won the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana in 1982 [GALLO/GETTY]

Dede Ayew, Ghana's young talent, hopes to emulate his father, former African Footballer of the Year Abedi Pele, and help his country win the Africa Cup of Nations.
Ayew, who made his league debut at French club Olympique Marseille this season, is expected to be in the starting line-up when Ghana host Guinea in the opening match of the tournament in Accra on Sunday.
At just 18 years old, Ayew has a chance to mirror the first major achievement of his father, who was a 17-year-old prodigy when Ghana last won the Nations Cup in 1982.
 
"I think we can do something great for this country in this tournament," the junior Ayew said on Friday.
 
"I would obviously want to achieve the same as my father did. We are taking it all very seriously.
 

"I would obviously want to achieve the same as my father did."

Dede Ayew

"As hosts we know we have to get off to a good start and to qualify for the next round."
 
The Black Stars player added: "Guinea have a great team and we know Sunday's match will be difficult but we have the fighting spirit and the people behind us to go on and do great things at this tournament."
 
Ayew won the first of his four caps last year but all his appearances for Ghana have come as a substitute.
 
The absence of midfielder Stephen Appiah, injured captain, means coach Claude Le Roy is likely to promote Ayew to starting line-up.
 
No pressure
 
"We had all the opportunity to prepare properly in Dubai where we had a good training camp, which was great to build our team spirit," said Ayew.
 
"At the moment it has all gone off very well and if it continues like this we can go very far."
 
Despite his tender years and the pressure of carrying a famous family name, Ayew shrugged off the burden of expectation on the tournament hosts.
 
"I don't think we players feel the pressure as much as our coach," he said.
 
"We know what we have to do, go out on the pitch and do what we know best."
 
Ayew may not feel the pressure of expectation, but his father Abedi Pele was a three-time African Footballer of the Year, helped Marseille win the European Cup and captained Italian Serie A club Torino.
Source:
Agencies
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