Soccer News of 2014-05-22

Ghana possess quality squad for World Cup – Essien

The midfielder says the quality in depth is “extremely good” for the 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists and believes the team is poised to make history in Brazil

Ghana midfielder Michael Essien has said the current Black Stars squad can boast of quality and the best for the World Cup.

Essien hailed Coach Kwesi Appiah for his provisional 26-man World Cup panel, adding that it gives the team’s departments a lot of options.

“The squad for this tournament is the best Ghana has to offer, and the quality in depth is extremely good, especially in midfield. We have multiple options in most positions which is always a plus for any side,” Essien told

The 31-year-old AC Milan midfielder will be making his second World Cup appearance in Brazil barring any injury. He noted that Ghana deserve a pat on the back because the team has achieved what some perennial countries at the global stage have not been able to attain.

“I think we have done well for a nation that made its debut on the world stage in 2006. We did okay in our first outing and went one further in South Africa, and that says a lot about the players and the nation as a whole. Our desire to do well spurred us on in both World Cups, and I think it is fair to say we have done better than some of the nations who have been to three or more World Cups.

“Germany 2006 was very good, and we had a great time throughout the tournament. We were a young, talented group with no World Cup experience and in some way that helped us because we were fearless and had nothing to lose. Throughout the qualifiers we played very well and bonded as a team, as brothers. When we got to Germany we were ready to deliver and we did our best. I am proud to be one of the first players to be at Ghana’s first World Cup,” Essien opined.

Ghana have been placed in the same group with US, Germany, and Portugal. The former Chelsea ace believes the Black Stars can survive the group of death.

“Our initial aim will be to get out of the group into the second round, and then take it from there game by game. Who knows? We are certainly capable of going one better and making it to the semi-finals or even finals. Anything can happen, but we are realistic enough to know we cannot aim that high from the start. Get the first objective of making the second round out of the way, and we will see how far we can go. It will be a journey without doubt, one we are looking forward to,” said Essien.

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