World Cup 2022: Five outstanding Black Stars players to watch

Published on: 20 November 2022

The Black Stars will return to the quadrennial big event after an eight-year absence. Ghana beat Nigeria to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.

The Ghana contingent landed in Qatar on Friday evening after beating Switzerland 2-0 in an international friendly in the United Arab Emirates.

Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu and Bristol City attacker Antoine Semenyo scored for Ghana. Hearts of Oak's Daniel Afriyie Barnieh made his first start for the Black Stars. He excelled and received lots of encouragement from his teammates, coach, and Ghanaians.

The playing body landed in Qatar in grand style. The players wore traditional smocks, and hats with kente-like scarfs around their necks to complete the wonderful appearances. Videos and pictures of their arrival went viral on social media.

The Black Stars of Ghana is in Group H alongside Uruguay, Portugal, and South Korea. Ghana will play Portugal on 24th November at the Stadium 974, South Korea on 28th November at the Education City Stadium, and play their final group game against Uruguay on 2nd December at the Al Janoub Stadium.

Below are the five players:

Tariq Lamptey

Tariq Lamptey is a new addition to the senior national team the Black Stars. He switched nationality to represent Ghana at the senior international level in 2022.

The Hillingdon-born defender began his career with Larkspur Rovers at the age of eight years from 2006 to 2008 before moving to Chelsea FC.

On December 29, 2019, Tariq Lamptey made his professional football debut against Arsenal in the Premier League. He came on as a 59th-minute substitute for Fikayo Tomori and was a dynamic influence as Chelsea rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1.

The 22-year-old is 165cm tall. Tariq Lamptey prefers to play with right foot. He can play as a right back or a right midfielder.

Before switching nationality to Ghana Lamptey made three appearances for England’s U18, nine appearances for England's U19 (scored one), six appearances for U20, and two appearances for England's U21.

Inaki Williams

Inaki Williams has made over 350 first-team appearances for the club, including a La Liga record of over 230 consecutive games. He scored the winning goal of the 2020–21 Supercopa de Espana.

On 20 March 2015, Williams received his first international call-up, being named in Albert Celades' Spain under-21 squad for friendlies with Norway and Belarus. He made his debut on the 26th against the former, replacing goalscorer Munir El Haddadi at half-time of a 2–0 friendly win in Cartagena.

On 5 July 2022, Williams announced that he was making himself available for the African nation in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In September he received his first call-up, for friendlies with Brazil and Nicaragua. He made his debut against the former, playing the second half of the 3–0 loss in Le Havre.

Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew will lead the Black Stars of Ghana as skipper in the 2022 World Cup which will be held in Qatar.

The midfielder has been included in Otto Addo’s final squad for the tournament which was released on Monday 14 November 2022.

Ayew started his career playing for Nania in Ghana when he was just 14 years old. He signed a contract with Marseille in 2005 and spent two seasons in the club's development program before making his professional debut in the 2007–08 campaign.

The following two seasons saw Ayew on loan at Lorient and Arles-Avignon, where he contributed to the latter team's first-ever promotion to Ligue 1. He returned to Marseille in 2010 and quickly established himself as a key player for manager Didier Deschamps' first squad, making over 200 games and taking home back-to-back Trophee des Champions and Coupe de la Ligue titles in 2010 and 2011.

Since joining Ghana's senior team in 2008, Ayew has amassed more than 100 caps. He played a key role for and served as captain of the under-20 squad that won the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2009 African Youth Championship. He has participated in two FIFA World Cups (2010 and 2014), seven Africa Cup of Nations (2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021), and two Olympics. He helped Ghana finish second in 2010 and 2015 and was the tournament's leading scorer in 2017.

Mohammed Kudus

Mohammed Kudus began his professional career in Denmark. He played 57 games for FC Nordsjaelland before joining Ajax in the Eredivisie before the 2021/21 season. Since then, he and his club have won the KNVB Cup in 2021, as well as the Dutch title in each of the previous two seasons. Kudus has also played in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League with Ajax. He most recently scored and assisted against Rangers to win player of the match and make the Champions League team of the week.

Thomas Partey

Partey received his first call-up to the Ghana national team in May 2016, ahead of a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Mauritius. On June 5, he made his debut, replacing Frank Acheampong for the final 11 minutes of the Black Stars' 2-0 away win that secured their participation in the championship. On September 5, 2017, Partey scored his first international hat-trick in a 5-1 victory against Congo in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.

Partey was included in Kwesi Appiah's 23-man squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. In the Black Stars' last group game against Guinea-Bissau, a 2-0 triumph, he scored to assist his team take first place. On July 8, he made the winning shot in the final penalty shootout against Tunisia, but his team was eliminated.

Partey was awarded the title of Ghana Player of the Year in both 2018 and 2019. Prior to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Partey was selected as Ghana's vice-captain.

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