Tag: Udinese


Meet the Ghana World Cup Squad 2014: Introducing Asamoah Gyan

Captain Fantastic!

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Asamoah Gyan is known the world over as the man who missed the crucial penalty against Uruguay in 2010 World Cup quarter final in South Africa. He is also allegedly the man who needs 5 chances to score a goal and he is the man who briefly “retired” from international football. However He is the captain, the talisman and Ghana’s chief goal threat. Say what you want about him but his record speaks for itself. He is the man whose goals fired Ghana to the quarter final in the first place. He is also Ghana’s all time leading goal scorer (last scoring against Germany at 2014 World Cup) and the first African to score in three consecutive World Cups. Yes three!

Gyan is a dynamic powerful striker who some may argue has not yet fully reached his potential..

Having signed for Udinese in 2003 from Ghanaian club Liberty Professionals located in Accra, Gyan spent two years on loan at Serie B club Modena to gain match experience. Following some excellent displays during the 2006 World Cup, he attracted interest from Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow. Gyan returned to Udinese at the start of 2006, but in February 2007, Udinese pulled out of a deal to sell him in the January transfer window. The striker was on the verge of signing a 3-year deal with Lokomotiv Moscow for US$10.5 million, which would have been the fourth largest transfer fee in Russian football.

In August 2007 Gyan signed an improved 5-year contract extension to stay at Udinese until 30 June 2012 as a reward for his fine form.He remained there for just over a year then in July 2008, Gyan was signed by French Ligue 1 Club Stade Rennais , Gyan played 48 times for Rennes, scoring 14 goals. By the end of his stay at Rennes, he became a well known goal scoring figure, scoring 13 league goals in the 2009–10 season. However, Gyan only played three games in Ligue 1 the following season, taking his total appearances to 53, before he departed for Sunderland

After the 2010 World Cup, Gyan signed for Premier League club Sunderland on a four-year deal for record £13 million.. He scored on his Sunderland debut against Wigan Athletic after coming on as a substitute for Danny Welbeck. He finished his first season in English football with 10 league goals. Gyan took the squad number 3 shirt for the 2011–12 season, the same squad number he wears for Ghana. However in September 2011  went on a season long loan at UAE club Al Ain . He later signed a permanent five-year contract with the club on 6 July 2012 worth over £6m per season. He was the top goalscorer in the UAE league in the 2013 season and helped his team retain the league title.

Gyan made his debut for Ghana at the tender age of just 17 scoring on his debut against Somalia in 2003. He was included in the 2006 World Cup Squad and scored the fastest goal of that tournament against the Czech Republic. Along with Sulley Muntari he is the only player to have been selected in all three World Cup squads. He has made 80 appearances for Ghana scoring 41 goals.

If Ghana are now to make it to the second round of the World Cup he will surely have a crucial role to play.

Asamoah Gyan, Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

LetsGoalGhana!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Black Star Kwadwo Asamoah

Asamoah sees his stock rise

 

I remember when Kwadwo Asamoah burst into the Ghanaian first team squad in 2010. I went round telling anybody who would listen what an exceptional talent he is. Two years on and he is realising his potential and attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Initially thrust into the first team as a replacement for an injured Michael Essien at the 2010 African Cup of Nations, his performances as playmaker in midfield soon caught the eye. A combative midfielder with a great passing range and a wand of a left foot, he soon became a firm favourite with fans and players alike.

Asamoah started his professional career in 2006 with Liberty Professionals in Ghana until he joined Torino in Italy. He was subsequently loaned to Udinese in 2008, where he made such an impression there that they decided to make the move permanent a year later. This later earned him a call up to Ghana national team in the same year. He has had three successful seasons since at Udinese helping them to qualify for the Champions League twice. Gradually he has become one of Udinese’s star players along with international striker Antonio Di Natale.

On the international stage as mentioned 2010 was his breakthrough year. Having being tasked with the job of replacing Michael Essien at the beginning of the year he obliged by helping the Black Stars reach the final of CAN 2010 where they lost a close game to Egypt 1-0. Later in the year Essien was hardly missed as Ghana reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time. Although players such as Asamoah Gyan got most of the plaudits, Kwadwo Asamoah was influential in the heart of Ghana’s midfield alongside Anthony Annan.

Since the World Cup he has established himself as one of the Black Stars most trusted players. He played every game of CAN 2012 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in what turned out to be a disappointing campaign as Ghana failed to reach the final.

Now with reported interest from Manchester United, Inter Milan and Juventus this summer, it seems Asamoah is in line for big money with newly crowned champions the favourite to land him. At 23, his best years are still ahead of him and is ready to take his career to the next level. Thus playing at the highest level will only serve to make him a better player which is not only good for him but good for Ghana’s chances of qualifying for the next World Cup in Brazil.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (Kwesi)