In Ghana, football remains the most popular sport, not because of its global outreach but also the sport has created an identity and raised the profile of the country around the world.
First formed in the 1950s, the Ghana national football team has represented the nation for close to 70 years. Known as the Black Stars, the team derives its name from the star on the Ghana national flag.
Today the team is part of most soccer leagues played internationally. Over the years, under the control of Ghana Football Association, the Black Stars has won Africa Cup of Nations four times and stood third in the 1992 summer Olympics. It is not uncommon to find soccer odds today favoring the team over any other African team.
Here, we are about to share the top 10 interesting facts about the Ghana national football team that very few fans know.
- The Black Star-Name inspired by the national flag
The name is not just derivation from the Marcus Garvey’s Black Start Line. Ghana was the first country to gain independence from Britain which required the Pan-Africanism spirit to be well represented by a flag. The country adopted a tri-colored flag like Ethiopia but altered with a star.
The same free spirit was adopted by the team when it was rechristened as the Black Stars. Early in the days, Ghana national team also adopted the three colors of the flag on its attire but today it has changed to white.
- Most successful African Olympic football team
Ghana national football team is one of the most successful African Olympic football teams. The team has qualified for the Olympics in five consecutive appearances, best of which is the third position in the 1992 Summer Olympics. Today, the junior teams are a regular to the Olympic games which is a major success for football in Ghana.
- The Black Stars have qualified for the World Cup thrice
Black Stars remain one of the most competitive African football teams that has qualified for the World Cup in three seasons-2006, 2010 and 2014. Ghana football team has many accolades to its name that include 14th position in World Cup teams ranking in 2008 and 7th position in FIFA World Cup in 2010.
- Four times Africa Cup of Nations campion
Blacks Stars has participated in the African Cup of Nations for 22 seasons and won the titles four times. The team was a champion in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982.
- Blacks Stars played Real Madrid and drew
It might seem hard to believe, but on 19 August 1962 on a sunny day at the Accra Sports Stadium, the Spanish giants Real Madrid were challenged by the Black Stars. At the time, the Spanish mammoths were former European champions and intercontinental champions, still, the Ghana National Football team was able to draw the match 3-3.
- Unbeaten season
In 2005, Black Stars went through the year unbeaten to win the FIFA Best Mover of the Year Ward that earned them a place for the first FIFA Cup in 2006.
- Perfect record in 2010 World Cup qualifiers
In their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, the Ghana national football team managed to secure a 100 per cent record and became the first African team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.
- Black Stars jersey
The all-white and partly black football kit that we see Black Stars adorning today was not always there. Between 1990 and 2006, the national football team used the kit that had tri colors from the Ghana national flag-gold, green and red.
- Black Stars jersey voted best in 2014 FIFA World Cup
During the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, BuzzFeed ranked the football kit of Ghana national football team as the best.
- Record AFCON semis appearances
In 2013, the Ghana national football team because the only African team to reach four consecutive Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals twice.