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Asante Kotoko's best XI of all-time

Tue, 1 Sep 2020 Source: Pulse Ghana

Kumasi Asante Kotoko formed on August 31, 1935 and as they mark their 85th anniversary, Ghanaian Sports Historian and Statistician Thomas Freeman Yeboah has compiled the all-time XI of the Porcupine Warriors.

Below is the full list by position:

Robert Mensah

Robert Mensah was Africa’s number one goalkeeper during his heydays. The former Dwarfs goalie inspired Asante Kotoko to the 1970 Africa Champions Cup triumph as they defeated Englebert in January, 1971 to emerge champions of Africa.

The legendary Ghanaian winger Osei Kofi in an interview with Pulse.com.gh in June said that he will dedicate Kotoko’s Africa triumph to Mensah, because the latter did a yoemans job in Kinshasa.

Frank Amankwah

Bayereba, as he was affectionately called by the Ghanaian football loving fans, was not only Ghana's best right full-back, but he was the finest in his position on the African continent. Frank Amakwah joined Asante Kotoko from Kumapem and helped the Porcupine Warriors wIn the 1993 Ghana Premier League before the change over from amateur league to professional football in 1993/1994 season.

His overlapping, crosses and incisive passes when surging forward was amazing and because of his speed, he could easily trackback to support in defensive duties. Those couldn't watch Frank Amankwah can liken his work rate to that of Roberto Carlos in his prime. He is widely regarded as the best right full back Ghana has ever seen.

During his days in the Premier League, he cemented his place in THE starting berth, featuring for the Black Stars in 1994 and 1996 AFCONs. In 1994 despite Ghana's early exit from the continent's showpiece, his individual effort earned him a place in the all-star team of the tournament alongside Abedi Pele as the two Ghanaians who made the list.

Oliver Acquah

Oliver Acquah was one very instrumental as Asante Kotoko won the 1970 Africa Champions League against Englebert. He was explosive when he operates from the left full back position.

Dogo Moro

The tall defender was noted for his ball-playing and ability to do clean clearances. He was a member of the Kotoko team that won the maiden FA Cup in 1958 and the 1959 Ghanaian league.

As one of the finest defenders at the time, he was recruited alongside winger Baba Yara to Real Republicans (A model club formed in the early 1960s by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah that recruited two players from each of the top teams in the league).

James Kuuku Dadzie

The former Eleven Wise defender was stalwart in the Asante Kotoko defence. He was very good on the ball and a good tackler as well.

Dadzie was a member of the Black Stars team that won the 1978 Africa Cup.

Ibrahim Sunday

The central midfielder was the first Ghanaian player to win the Africa Footballer of the Year in 1971.

He was key as Asante Kotoko won the 1970 Africa Champions Cup against Englebert.

Ibrahim Sunday was a ball winner and distributor. He was league champion in 1967/1968, 1969, 1972 and 1975 with the Kumasi giants.

Abdul Razak

The ‘Golden Boy’ as he was affectionately called won the 1975, 1986, 1987 and 1988/1989 league titles with the Porcupine Warriors.

Razak was effective in the national team inspiring the Black Stars to win the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations.

He was also voted the African Footballer of the Year in 1978

Baba Yara

The 'King of Wingers' was the greatest Ghanaian player of his time. Baba Yara was a tormentor in the opposing area. Yara added goal scoring to his effective and efficient dribbles.

He was key as Kotoko won the 1958 FA Cup and the 1959 league.

Baba Yara was one of the two Kotoko players who were recruited to join Real Republicans and was again instrumental as they won the FA Cup in 1961, 1962 and 1963.

However, his career was cut short after he suffered a road accident in 1963 and subsequently passed away in 1967.

Osei Kofi

He was nicknamed the wizardry dribbler for his flawless ability to dribble opponents.

Osei Kofi is widely regarded as the greatest Asante Kotoko player of all-time. He won the league title with Hearts of Oak in 1961/1962 season before he inspired Asante Kotoko to the 1963/1964, 1964/165, 1967/1968, 1969, 1972 and 1975.

He captained Asante Kotoko to the 1970 Africa Champions Cup triumph and he is the club’s all-time top scorer in CAF inter-club competitions.

Opoku Afriyie

Bayie, as he was popularly called, was a goal poacher. He won the top scorer in the Ghanaian topflight league twice while with Asante Kotoko.

He won the league title in 1972, 1975, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Opoku Afriyie captained Asante Kotoko as they reached the final of the 1982 Africa Champions Cup final, but they lost against Al Ahly.

He also played an important role as Ghana won the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), scoring both goals against Uganda.

Wilberforce Mfum

The Buldozer captained Asante Kotoko in the 1960s and won the league title with the Porcupine Warriors in 1958, 1963/1964, 1964/165, 1967/1968 and 1969.

Mfum was predator in front of the goal and he combined very well with Osei Kofi and Mohammed Salisu.

He also paid his dues to the Black Stars, scoring Ghana’s first goal in the Africa Cup of Nations in 1963 against Tunisia. Ghana progressed to the final and beat Sudan to win their first continental trophy.

Reserve:

James Adjei: Regarded as the most talented player Ghana has ever seen. He, however, played his football during the pre-independent era.

Ahmed Rockson

Kwame Adarkwa

Opoku Afriyie

Asebi Boakye

Mohammed Salisu

CK Gyamfi

Malik Jabir

Addae Kyenkyehene

Joe Debrah

Issah Ahmed

Shilla Illiasu

Albert Asase

Kofi Badu

Criteria:

Individual brilliance

Achievement in terms of titles

National team contribution

Source: Pulse Ghana

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