Black Stars coach Otto Addo on Monday announced his 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup.
Here’s everything you need to know about the players who will be in Qatar.
Name: Lawrence Ati-Zigi
Club: St Gallen
He is the first-choice keeper for ST. Gallen in the Swiss Super League. He has kept the post 107 times. He has already kept 13 matches and conceded 19 goals. Having kept the post 4 times for the Black Satellites, he was invited to the Black Stars in 2017 and has made 15 appearances Qatar 2022 will be Ati Zigi’s first World cup.
Name: Abdul Manaf Nurudeen
Club: KAS Eupen
He transferred from Aspire Academy to KAS Eupen in Belgium. Ghana’s Manaf Nurudeen competed at the 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations. He was first called up to the Ghana national team in September 2021 for World Cup qualifications against Ethiopia and South Africa, but he did not play. This is his second tournament invitation following his selection for the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon.
Name: Ibrahim Danlad
Club: Asante Kotoko
He will be one of Ghana’s youngest men in Qatar. The World atmosphere alone presents him with an opportunity to add to his experience. The Kotoko goalkeeper has had to a couple of loan engagements with King Faisal and Berekum Chelsea and has kept the post in 50 Ghana Premier League games. Impressively he has kept 26 clean sheets out of that number.
He has gone through the youth sides including The Black Meteors (u23) and exhibited good performance. He won Ghana Premier League in the 2021-22 season. With the Black Satellites, he won the 2021 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations and the WAFU Zone B U-20 tournaments.
Name: Baba Rahman
Club: Reading FC
Position: Left back
The Reading FC full-back won the Ghana Premier League with Asante Kotoko in 2011–12. His impressive form earned him a transfer to Europe. He has been under contract at Chelsea since 2015 but has spent majority of his career either on loan to other clubs or in hospitals due to injury. He has however recovered and established himself in the Reading team and has made 30 appearances from the start of last season. He played every match in the 2015 Africa cup of nations which Ghana finished as runners-up.
Name: Gideon Mensah
Club: AJ Auxerre
Position: Left back
He played for West Africa Soccer Academy in Ghana before securing a deal in Austria. He is currently a Salzburg player but has spent most of his time on loan to teams like FC Girondins Bordeaux, Zulte Waregem and Vitória Guimarães SC. He won the heart of many with his performances for the Black Stars in the double-legged tie against Nigeria in the World cup playoffs. The left-back provided the assist to Thomas Partey’s goal which propelled Ghana to a fourth World cup appearance.
Name: Daniel Amartey
Club: Leicester City
The former Inter Allies player was invited in 2015 by Avram Grant for the African cup of nations. He played all the games in the group stage leading to Ghana’s second place finish. He also played in the 2017 and 2021 African cup of nations and was named in the team of the tournament for the former. With Leicester, he has won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Community Shield
Name: Alexander Djiku
Position: Center back
Played in France in his entire career playing for Bastia and eventually moved to Caen and Strasbourg. He is the current vice deputy captain of Strasbourg. Djiku is arguably Strasbourg’s best player with an average rating of 7.19. He got the opportunity to represent Ghana in Ghana’s 3-0 defeat to Mali in October 2020 and has played 18 more. Despite making less than 20 international appearances, he will be a key player in Ghana’s defence at the world cup.
Name: Joseph Aidoo
Club: Celta Vigo
He started his playing career at Inter Allies. He captained the side in the 2014-15 season before joining Hammarby IF in Sweden. He later moved to Genk and made a total of 75 appearances while scoring five goals. He signed for Spanish outfit Celta Vigo in 2019. He has played over 100 matches for Celta Vigo and is considered an integral member of the squad. He was part of the squad that represented Ghana in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup as well as the U-20 African championship. He has played just a single match in a major tournament for the Black stars (against Guinea Bissau in the 2019 AFCON) and will be seeking more appearances in Qatar.
Name: Denis Odoi
Club: Club Brugge
Before making his debut in March 2022, he played a few matches for Belgium U20 in 2008, U21 in 2010 and the Belgium senior national football team in 2012. He has made a total of 526 appearances for clubs across Europe including Anderlecht, Lokeren and Fulham. Denis Odoi is known for his aptness to play on both sides of the defence. He was one of the outstanding performers in Ghana’s double-legged tie against Nigeria in the World cup playoff.
Name: Alidu Seidu
Club: Clermont Foot
He joined Clermont Foot from JMG Academy at the age of 19. He’s fought his way through to the first team. He played 22 times for his side in Ligue 2 but has played more after the team was promoted to Ligue one. This season alone, Alidu has played in 14 matches for the French side. He can also play as a right-back.
Name: Salisu Mohammed
He began his youth career in Ghana switching to a number of clubs including West Africa Football Academy and African Talent Football Academy. He, fortunately, joined the Spanish side Real Valladolid B as a teenager and made his instantaneous impact and got him a promotion to the senior team. He was recognized as one of the future prospects by several top clubs including Southampton where he now plies his trade. Salisu made his Ghana debut on September 23, 2022, as a second-half replacement in a 3-0 friendly loss to Brazil.
Name: Tariq Lamptey
Tariq is one of several players who participated in England’s junior teams but failed to make the three Lions. His predicament at the national level was identical to that of Chelsea, where he only made one senior appearance. The availability of Chelsea’s fullbacks Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta made it tough for Tariq Lamptey to break through. The teenager moved to Brighton & Hove Albion in order to gain more playing time and eventually became a regular starter. He has appeared in 64 matches for the Seagulls thus far. He made his debut for the Black Stars in a friendly match against Brazil.
Name: André Ayew
Club: Al Sadd
Position: Attacking Midfielder
André Ayew is by far Ghana’s top player, having played for both the U20 and Black Stars. He guided the Black Satellites to the African Youth Championship in 2009 before becoming the first African country to win the FIFA U20 World Cup. His leadership abilities followed him to the Black Stars, where he is currently captain.
In 2010, 2011, and 2015, Ayew was chosen to the CAF Team of the Year. He was also named BBC African Footballer of the Year and Ghana Player of the Year in 2011. Along with four other players, he was the highest scorer at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. In his fourth tournament as captain, he will lead Ghana to Qatar.
Name: Thomas Partey
Ghana’s current finest player in recent years. Before joining Atlético Madrid in 2012, Thomas Partey played for Leganés. He debuted for the Black Stars in 2017 and has since appeared in 38 games, scoring 12 goals.
He won the 2020-21 La Liga with Atlético Madrid, as well as the UEFA Europa League in 2017-18 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2018. He was named to the CAF Team of the Year in 2018, the SWAG Sports Personality of the Year in 2018, and the Ghana Player of the Year in both 2018 and 2019. Ghana would undoubtedly rely on him to make a mark in Qatar.
Name: Mohammed Kudus
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Kudus may just be a little over twenty, but arguably, Ghana’s talent to watch at the mundial in Qatar. The Ajax man has assumed a new role as a false number nine and has delivered an inch-perfect performance in that position. He stole the headlines a few weeks ago having scored in three consecutive UEFA Champions League matches. Kudus has already scored nine goals in 20 matches for Ajax.
Kudus’ versatility has been displayed from infancy when he played for right to dream academy through to FC Nordsjaelland and his current Dutch club. In 18 appearances for the national team, he has netted five goals and provided three assists. He has won with Ajax, back-to-back Eredivisie titles in 2020–21 and 2021–22 and the KNVB Cup in 2020–21.
Name: Daniel-Kofi Kyereh
Position: Attacking Midfielder
He is calm in keeping possession and a threat in the final third. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh is excellent with long passes and set-pieces. His work rate is really commendable. The attacker may not be an outright starter in the Ghanaian set-up but what he really offers is unique. He can be remembered as one of Ghana’s outstanding performers in their last AFCON outing in Cameroon.
Name: Elisha Owusu
He began his youth career at Olympique Lyonnais and captained the reserves before breaking through to the senior side. He also played for Sochaux on loan before moving to Gent in Belgium.
A lot of football connoisseurs have quizzed the management on the backup to Baba Iddrisu and Thomas Partey and Elisha seem to be one of the answers. He actually showed a glimpse in Ghana’s tie against Nigeria. Calm but diligent with his passing coupled with precision.
Name: Salis Abdul Samed
Club: RC Lens
He joined Clermont Foot in France from JMG Academy in 2021 and was one of the best passers in the French Ligue 1. Salis is playing for Lens this season and his current performances are simply magnificent. Fortunately for Salis, his first invitation to the national team is the World cup assignment. He would definitely wait for the opportunity to get minutes to impress the world. He poses as a competition for Elisha Owusu and a backup for Thomas Partey.
Name: Kamaldeen Sulemana
He is also a product of the right to dream academy. He spent seven years with them and later joined FC Nordsjælland in 2020 in Denmark. He was involved in 22 goals out of 43 matches before joining Stade Rennais FC in 2021. He made his debut for Ghana in October 2020 in a friendly match against Mali. Kamaldeen was also part Ghana’s AFCON 2021 squad and played in all three matches. His pace and dribbling ability as well his creativity will obviously add a lot to Ghana’s play at the world cup.
Name: Abdul Fatawu Issahaku
Club: Sporting Lisbon
He is the squad’s youngest member, yet he is also one of its fastest. His left foot is well renowned for launching bows towards the goal. He joined Steadfast FC at the age of 15, after leaving the Tamale Utrecht Academy in 2019 and spending a season on loan with Dreams FC in the Ghana Premier League.
After making his debut for the Black Starlets in 2018, he was selected captain of the African under-17 qualifiers for 2020.
He was later invited to represent Ghana at the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in 2021. Despite his age, he scored two crucial goals in the group stage, propelling Ghana to the knockout stage and eventually winning the competition for the first time in its history. Issahaku was voted the tournament’s best player.
Name: Kamal Sowah
Club: Club Brugge
Kamal Sowah is one of the players who could make his debut for the Black Stars. He has a lot of strength and speed. He is very inventive on both sides of the ball. Excellent at cutting in from the left and firing crosses from the right. Ghana now have more alternatives on the flanks because of his talent.
Name: Osman Bukari
Club: Red Star Belgrade
Bukari is a quick runner, dribbler, and excellent crosser. His defensive instincts make him a natural workaholic on the field. In 24 games this season, he has seven goals and five assists for Red Star Belgrade. He appeared in 127 games for AS Trencin, KAA Gent, and FC Nantes. He scored 22 goals and assisted 35 others for them. Prior to his first game for the Black Stars, he had scored three goals in three games for the Black Meteors. With FC Nantes, he won the Coupe de France in 2021-22. During his stint at AS Trencin, he was also chosen to the 2019-20 Slovak Super Liga Team of the Season.
Name: Iñaki Williams
Club: Athletic Bilbao
Ghana has long sought quality strikers, and while several forwards have shown promise, they have struggled to maintain it. Iñaki who spent several years with Athletic Bilbao, might be Ghana’s option. Surprisingly, the former Pamplona player is rarely hurt, and his ability to recuperate swiftly is nearly unfathomable. After 286 La Liga matches, he has been involved in over 100 goals. Last September, he made his Black Stars debut against Brazil in an international friendly. In 2020-21, he helped Athletic Bilbao win the Supercopa de España.
Name: Antoine Semenyo
Club: Bristol City
Semenyo is another possibility for Ghana’s striking troubles due to his talent. The Bristol City forward is quick, crafty, and has a lot of firepower in his legs. He scored eight goals and assisted on 12 others in 32 games. He has four goals and an assist in 18 games this season. He made his debut for the Black Stars in a 3-0 win over Madagascar in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Name: Daniel Afriyie Barnieh
Club: Hearts of Oak
He is arguably the best local-based player Ghana can boast of and his call-up may justify the calls from Ghanaians in his favour. He captained Ghana to the 2021 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations glory and WAFU Zone B U-20 Tournament triumph in 2020. With his club, Accra Hearts of Oak, he has won the Ghana Premier League, Ghanaian FA Cup, Ghana Super Cup and the President’s Cup.
He also won for himself the SWAG Home-based Footballer of the Year and Ghanaian FA Cup Top scorer both in 2021. He also won the 2022 Ghanaian FA Cup Player of the Year. Due to his versatility, he adds depth to both the midfield and attack of the Black Stars.
Name: Jordan Ayew
Club: Crystal Palace
Jordan is a versatile attacker who is capable of operating from all angles (Left Right and centre). He is a gifted dribbler with pace with an incredible work rate. He played at Marseille, Sochaux and Lorient before joining Aston Villa in 2015. He also played for Swansea City in the English Premier League.
At Crystal Palace, he won the Crystal Palace Player of the Year at the end of the 2019–20 season. He was also Ghana’s player of the year in 2020. He has scored 19 go in 83 appearances for the Black Stars and assisted an extra 10.