FIFA RANKING : 32
NICKNAME : The Black Stars
CAPTAIN : Stephen Appiah
CONFEDERATION :Confederation of African Football(CAF)
HEAD COACH: Milovan Rajevac
Road to the World Cup: Ghana topped their group with 4 wins, 1 draw and only 1 loss from their 6 games. The key stretch for the west Africans came in June 2009 when they won 2-0 away to both Mali and Sudan. Ghana however did not have it easy in qualifying as in the previous round they only topped their group on goal difference having lost matches to both Gabon and Libya.
History: Ghana have qualified for the World Cup only twice: in 2006 and 2010. In 2006 they were the only African nation to make it out of the group stages. They were eventually beaten 3-0 by Brazil.
23 man squad
Richard Kingson is a certain starter for the Ghana national team in the world cup. He will be hoping to recreate the form he showed at the African Cup of Nations. Stephen Ahorlu will be the backup keeper at the world cup.
Isaac Vorsah, John Mensah, John Pantsil and Hans Sarpei stand out as experienced European defenders and will probably occupy the starting berths. Pantsil and Mensah are currently contracted by Fulham and Sunderland respectively.By no means the strongest defense in the competition but neither is it the weakest. It relied heavily on being shielded by the excellent Ghana midfield.
The absence of Michael Essien severely limits the Black Stars midfield. It is a shame that he will not be playing at the world cup. However the midfield still seems strong for Ghana. Sulley Muntari (who won everything with Inter Milan this season)and Stephen Appiah being experienced midfielders, will hold the key. Kevin Prince Boateng has switched his international allegiance to Ghana and also looks to be an important player for the Black Stars
Sulley Ali Muntari
Abdul Rahim Ayew
Kevin Prince Boateng
Asamoah Gyan and Matthew Amoah will be looking to lead the line for the Black Stars. Matthew Amoah was effective and ended as top scorer for Ghana in the world cup qualifiers. Asamoah Gyan had an impressive season at French side Stade Rennais. Dominic Adiyiah who is on AC Milan’s books will look for a chance to impress as well. The supply from midfield however might be stifled due to the absence of Michael Essien and so goals might be in short supply.
How they will fare: Ghana are a continental powerhouse and in the past few years have shown that they can compete with the best. In 2006 they produced some impressive performances to beat the Czech Republic and USA and progress out of the first round. They are however still lacking that extra quality required to go a long way in the world cup.The absence of Michael Essien is a major blow for the nation as they are shorn of their one true world class player. As such being in a tough group with Germany, Serbia and Australia the black stars will have to produce some good football to progress. A repeat of their performance in 2006 is realistically all they can hope for in the 2010 edition.
Prediction: A 50 -50 chance of progression from the group stages into the knockout stage where I fancy they could provide maybe one giant killing act.