The winger talks about Ghana’s hopes of the upcoming continental gathering in Cameroon
Ghana attacker Emmanuel Gyasi has stated the Black Stars are bent on ending their long search for a continental title at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon next year.
Four-time champions, the West Africans have suffered a series of disappointments since wining their last title in Libya in 1982.
The Black Stars are among 24 nations qualified for next year’s championship which runs between January 9 and February 6, 2022.
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“Ghana are a strong National team, a good mix of interesting young prospects and more experienced players. The manager and his staff are very prepared too,” Gyasi, who plays club football in Serie A for Spezia, told BBC Sport Africa.
“Ghana have played several World Cups and Africa Cups of Nations: our dream and that of our fans is to win the [Afcon] trophy.
“We know it won’t be easy and we will have to think game by game, but we’ll go there to make our dreams come true. We have to believe in ourselves.
“I met Alfred Duncan and Kwadwo Asamoah [the only other Ghana internationals in Serie A] when we played against Cagliari we had a nice chat after the final whistle and they gave me some advice, I want to thank them for this.”
Gyasi was born in Italy to Ghanaian parents. In March, he fulfilled a long-held ambition of earning a maiden Ghana call-up and going ahead to make his debut in the Afcon qualifier against South Africa away in Johannesburg.
“My childhood dream has always been wearing the Ghana National team shirt. I wanted to become a football player and play for Ghana: I never had a doubt about it.In the past I had two idols in our national team: Stephen Appiah and Asamoah Gyan. They were great, I used to love them and watch all of their games,” the 27-year-old explained.
“There had been some speculations about me, but I had never spoken to anyone from the Ghana Football Association before [the call-up].
“Then I was finally called up! Ghana is an important football country in Africa, with thousands of good players. I am very proud of myself.”
“Although I was born in Italy and I feel very comfortable here, my land of origin is Ghana. My bond to Ghana has never vanished or diminished throughout the years.”
Gyasi will be hoping to earn a second straight call-up when Ghana coach CK Akonnor unveils his squad for next month’s 2022 World Cup qualifying matches against Ethiopia and South Africa.
He has made 34 league appearances and scored four goals for Spezia so far this season.