'Ghana better equipped this time'

Ghana’s Kwadwo Asamoah sees African sides, including his, springing up some shocks at the Brazil World Cup.

    Asmaoah's Ghana have a tough World Cup group including USA, Germany and Portugal [Getty Images]
    Asmaoah's Ghana have a tough World Cup group including USA, Germany and Portugal [Getty Images]

    Kwadwo Asamoah joined Juventus teammates in celebrating the Scudetto last month, his second Italian league title since his move from Udinese two seasons ago.

    He is getting used to that winning feeling that has been part of Juventus’ dressing room for the last few seasons. Growing up and playing football on the streets of Accra, Ghana, Asamoah, like most people there, would have never thought of being part of that dressing room or rubbing shoulders with the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon.

    What’s more is that he can easily be considered one of the top three African players heading to Brazil 2014.

    “It’s every player’s dream to win trophies and I’m not different,” Asamoah told Al Jazeera. “The league had been very competitive this season but I’m proud of the way we have kept our focus until the end.”

    Enjoying the present

    Asamoah is concerned about the present only. As him about his future aims and plans, and he will close the door on that topic immediately.

    “I’m enjoying life in Turin and being part of something special here. I have a long term contract and want to win more trophies with this group.”

    Ghana's fixtures

    June 16 v USA

    June 21 v Germany

    June 26 v Portugal

    Rather bland and straight to the point? That’s the sort of player he is. Certain things are not in his comfort zone, though. For a footballer, when it comes to interviews, he remains shy. But, thankfully for his fans and club, he transforms himself as soon as he steps on the football field.

    “I feel alive, I feel at home. I have always done my talking on the pitch, giving my 100% for club and country.”

    Even though he won’t admit or boast about it, Asamoah’s recent performance has placed him as one of Africa’s best that will be seen in Brazil. He is a player determined to get to the top. He is one of the big names for the Black Stars, a lineup that includes captain Asamoah Gyan, returnees Kevin-Prince Boateng, Michael Essien and Andre “Dede” Ayew, son of African legend Abedi Pele.

    “My ambition is to be the best. As with any job you aim to be the best and I work hard everyday on the training field and give 100% in all games to realise this ambition.”

    Tough campaign

    The Black Stars kick off their tough Group G campaign against USA, a team they have never lost to. In a group that also includes European powerhouses Germany and Portugal, with the latter boasting one called Cristiano Ronaldo, Asamaoh is very cautious, but still believes in his team’s abilities.

    “I think we have to go to Brazil with belief rather than hope of advancing from the group. It is a tough group and the matches will be difficult but we have every chance,” Asamoah said. “This is the World Cup. There are no easy groups or easy games. We’re fully aware of this and that’s how we’ll be playing every game.”

     Most critics do not have any African teams advancing from the group stages in Brazil but Asamoah has a different opinion compared to the pundits.

     “I think the African sides are better equipped this time round to make a real impact. Many factors will determine the success of the African sides but I believe we can cause a few upsets this summer.”

    There are many African players performing weekly in top leagues. Judging by his form, Asamoah might be at the helm of a few surprise results in the tournament that starts in just over a week now.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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