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Ghana National Team: Five Biggest Players to Watch for Egypt

Ahead of ’s first match in the play-off round of African vs Ghana, Mohamed Al-Hendy takes a look at the players Egypt should be most wary of.

It’s been discussed, anticipated and debated, but the final verdict is that Egypt will have to get past Ghana to get to Brazil 2014, and vice versa. Of the five World Cup qualifying play-off match-ups, many have stated that Egypt vs. Ghana will be the most intense match-up of all, and why not; after all, the pair recently contested the Africa Cup of Nations final in 2010. Egyptians will be hoping for the same result as last time, but it won’t be easy.

If Egypt is to experience success in its next two matches vs. Ghana, it will need to lock down most, if not all, of the following five players for Ghana:

Asamoah Gyan - Ghana

1) Asamoah Gyan

Just four goals short of being his country’s all-time leading goal-scorer, Gyan is already a legend for Ghana at the age of 27, and their main weapon on offense. One would expect that playing in the UAE would soften Gyan’s game up and hurt his progression as a player, but he’s scored 10 international goals and around 60 club goals since moving from Sunderland. With an almost 2:1 game-to-goals ratio, Egypt must limit Gyan’s ability to threaten their goal if they wish to control the match-up.


2) Michael Essien

Luckily for Egypt, the Ghanaian vice-captain is not the player he once was; nevertheless, he remains a very important player for Ghana in midfield. He is no longer a major shooting threat from midfield, but he still remains as aggressive and hard-working as ever, capable of running up-and-down the field with great stamina.With his solid passing abilities, Egypt must find a player–someone like Mohamed El Nenny perhaps–to keep up with Essien and tire him out, or at least keep him from controlling the midfield.


3) Andre Ayew 

It’s very surprising to see that Ayew has only scored four times in 45 matches for Ghana, given how big of a role he has played in his country’s offense since joining the national team. Nevertheless, three of those goals have been scored in big games; his first goal took Ghana to the finals of AFCON 2010, and his next two brought wins over Mali and Tunisia in AFCON 2012. Ayew’s pace, combined with his highly respectable dribbling abilities, ensure that he’ll create chances for Ghana against Egypt; the key for Egypt will be smothering those chances as much as possible and limiting the space Ayew has to run into.


4) Kwadwo Asamoah

Used as a left midfielder by Juventus and a central one by Ghana, Asamoah possesses a variety of skills that make him competitive in multiple positions. Like a couple of his teammates on this list, he has good pace, good dribbling, a decent shot from distance, solid passing, and great strength. You could say he’s a younger Michael Essien, which could mean trouble for Egypt if they have trouble shutting down the other players in Ghana’s midfield.


5) Kevin-Prince Boateng

Last, but not least, the x-factor. KPB is a great central midfielder, with excellent pedigree and highly respectable technical abilities, but his commitment to Ghana has always been tenuous at best. If he’s fit and motivated, he could partner with Asamoah and Essien to give Ghana one of the scariest midfields in the world. At 26, it remains to be seen if KPB has matured or still does not value international football as he should.

Altogether, Ghana has a team worthy of being feared, with multiple players plying their trade at the highest levels in Europe. Nevertheless, Egypt’s always been known for its team unity and ability to produce high quality players from its domestic league. The odds seem to be in Ghana’s favor, but we at KingFut will be hoping Egypt can pull off a small miracle and overcome Ghana’s group of well-trained individuals.

Mohamed Al-Hendy is a Vanderbilt University graduate and current law student at the University of Texas in Austin. He started freelance writing for Bleacher Report Soccer, and after making a name there, has gone on to write for King Fut, SWOL (Soccer Without Limits), Squawka Football and others. He has been featured on the BBC, discussing the 2012 Olympic tournament.



  1. Omar youssef

    September 17, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    Mubarak Wakaso is another guy to keep a very close eye on with his blistering speed he can be a problem on the left flank as he can play as a winger a midfielder and even a fullback that can keep up with Mohamed Salah’s speed all game long given his good stamina.

    • Mohamed Al-Hendy

      September 17, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      Yup, he and Atsu are two guys I left off the list who are incredibly fast and very dangerous on offense. Talent-wise, I think Ghana has us beat, though not by much; we just need to hope we are better organized and more determined than they are in order to win.

  2. Omar Macintyre

    September 17, 2013 at 6:24 AM

    This is really good! Can you guys make one for Egypt ? 🙂

    • Mohamed Al-Hendy

      September 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Well, now that you bring it up, we just might 🙂 Keep checking back!

  3. Mohamed Hossam

    September 17, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Nice article,Ghana are a hard opponent but we can win against them hopefully.

  4. ali

    September 17, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    one thing to take note of is ghana has a terrible goalie prone to mistakes

  5. Mark

    September 17, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    They have gyan, essien,asamoah,ayew and boateng and we have Gedo,aboutrieka,Mohamed Ibrahim,ghaly and salah


    September 18, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Ghana will also beat all this teams hands down. current form ghana is far ahead of egypt. Ghana have more than six players playing in the Uefa Champions League going on right now. how many Egyptian players are playing in the Uefa Champs League right now? it will not be close at all.the only problem is Egypt will come and play defence play if they open up ghana will punised them both home and away, believe that.

  7. Sohaib Tarek

    September 19, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    actually Boateng doesnt play for the national team anymore, please look into it, he retired after some problem with the Ghanaian FA

    • Adam Moustafa

      September 20, 2013 at 1:49 AM

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Boateng returned to their national team last month.

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