Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu

2023 AFCON: Agyemang-Badu optimistic about Ghana's resurgence

A Former Ghana international footballer, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, has expressed his confidence in the potential of the Black Stars to make a significant impact at the 2023 AFCON in Cote d'Ivoire.

Badu, who made 78 appearances for the Black Stars over a decade, acknowledged that all stakeholders, including the government, Ghana Football Association, passionate supporters and the players themselves, were dissatisfied with the team's current performance. Nevertheless, he expressed the belief that there was ample time for improvement ahead of the AFCON.

Speaking to the Graphic Sports last Saturday in Accra, Agyemang-Badu emphasised that while the team was not currently meeting expectations, it was a positive sign that issues affecting the team's performance were being addressed well in advance of the tournament. 

According to the retired midfielder, Ghana’s coach, Chris Hughton, has had the opportunity to assess a wide array of players, and was now in the best position to assemble a strong squad for competitive matches.

He stated that given the individual quality within the team, and an extra push, the Black Stars can emerge as a formidable force in Cote d'Ivoire.

"The team is not where we want it to be. I know the FA is not happy about what is going on, maybe the government is not happy, we the gallant supporters we are not happy and my colleagues, the players, are also not happy," said Agyemang-Badu who featured for Ghana at the 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017 AFCONs.

"Things have been up and down but trust me, things will change. It is better that it happened quite early before the AFCON, so let's see how we approach the November World Cup qualifiers and the kind of squad the coach will name."

Addressing the level of commitment shown by the players, Agyermang-Badu, best remembered for scoring the winning penalty that propelled Ghana to the FIFA U-20 World Cup triumph in 2009, expressed confidence that players would naturally be highly motivated for the AFCON, considering the rewards and privileges that came with a standout performance. 

He encouraged them to exert themselves on the field to secure the desired outcomes and bring an end to the country's trophy drought.

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