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5 Ghanaian footballers who could have won Ballon d'Or

Tue, 30 Nov 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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Messi wins Ballon d'Or for the 7th time

Michael Essien is the only Ghanaian player to earn Ballon d'Or nomination

Essien holds the record of three consecutive Ballon d'Or nominations


The oldest annual football awards organised by France Football came off on Monday, November 29 in Paris.

Paris Saint Germain superstar Lionel Messi was crowned the best player in the year under review, beating Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho to clinch the ball-like gold plated award for the 7th time.

No Ghanaian footballer has mounted the podium before but the sub-Saharan country has, however, had a representative in the top 30 on three occasions.

Unfortunately, on Monday night, France Football, organisers of the award named the top 30 footballers for the calendar year and no Ghanaian footballer made the cut.

Nonetheless, GhanaWeb takes a look at five Ghanaian footballers who could have won the Ballon d'Or.

Michael Essien

The Chelsea midfielder remains the only Ghanaian player to grab a Ballon d'Or nomination and even better on consecutive occasions.

First, in 2005, Essien won Ligue 1 with Lyon, won the Ligue 1 player of the year, appeared in the Ligue 1 team of the year and also appeared in the CAF team of the year in the same year. The 'Bison' came 22nd on the top 30 best players in the world in the Ballon d'Or list.

In 2006, Essien moved to Chelsea the next day. Won the Premier League, CAF team of the year, BBC African Footballer of the year, African footballer of the year and duly got nominated for the Ballon d'Or.

He came 24th on the Ballon d'Or list in 2007 after FA Cup, English League Cup, Ghana Player of the year, Chelsea player of the year, and Chelsea goal of the year.

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Abele Ayew Pele

Abedi had three best years that could have landed the award. The left-footed forward attacker is a straight mention in the top five greatest African footballers of all time. He won the best African footballer of the year three times in a row.

One of his peak years was 1991. He won Ligue 1 title with Marseille, African footballer of the year, and BBC African Footballer of the year.

Also in 1992, he won the Ligue 1 title again, African Footballer of the year, AFCON runner-up, AFCON best player and was ranked 9th for FIFA Footballer of the year.

Tony Yeboah

He was nicknamed Yagola, a great goal poacher who is best known for scoring cracking goals that stays with the fans forever. Tony Yeboah's goal-scoring prowess landed him a deal with Eintracht Frankfurt where he later became the first African captain for a Bundesliga side.

Yeboah won two consecutive goal king awards at Frankfurt- 1993 and 1994. Unfortunately, he did not have trophies to show for his best seasons. He later moved to Leeds where he won a silver medal in the Football League Cup.

Asmoah Gyan

Asamoah Gyan is regarded as the greatest Black Stars striker of all time and none of the best the continent has produced. He scored 51 goals for the national team making him Ghana's all-time top scorer.

Gyan had his best year in 2010, led Ghana to a silver medal at the AFCON 2010 with his 3 goals. His extra-time goal secured a first-ever quarter-final finish for Ghana at World Cup, won BBC African footballer of the year, Ghana footballer of the year and CAF team of the tournament.

Gyan is best known for international football where he has loads of records. Although he performed well in all the clubs he played with, he could not stay long to achieve laurels that could have complemented his goals and exceptional performances.

His longest spell at a club was his 5 years stay with Undunese, which he spent two years on loan at Modena.

Regardless, Gyan left his mark in every club he played, from Udinese, Stade Rennes, Sunderland all the way to North East United.

He won the BBC African Footballer of the year award in 2010 and appeared in the CAF team of the year three times.

Samuel Osei Kuffour

Kuffour is one of the greatest ever defenders to have come from Africa, a gallant one as that. The centre-back is hugely remembered for his spell with Bayern Munich where he spent 11 years. He went through the youth team to the senior side after joining from Torino at age 17.

Osei Kuffour is one of the few most decorated Ghanaian footballers with 12 trophies in total.

After missing out on the UCL in 1999, he finally laid his hands on the UCL trophy in 2001. He also scored and won the Man-of-the-match in Bayern's 1-0 in the intercontinental cup.

2001 was his peak, won the UCL, won BBC African footballer of the year could have been nominated and Ghana player of the year.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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