Ghana Profile

Major Honours Africa Cup of Nations (4)
Year Founded 1957

Four-time Africa Cup of Nations champions Ghana are one of the leading lights in African football, and are also makes waves on the world stage.

The national side started life as the Gold Coast in 1920, before the Ghana Football Association took over in 1957.

Their first international as the Gold Coast came in a 1-0 win over Nigeria in 1950.

Ghana, who are nicknamed the Black Stars after the symbol on their flag, have won the African Cup of Nations four times and has been the runner-up in the competition five times.

In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, they became the third African side to reach the quarter-finals before losing in an eventful game against Uruguay.

Early years and Africa Cup of Nations

The Ghana national side won back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations under the management of Charles Kumi Gyamfi in 1963 and 1965.

He led the country to its record win at the time, a 13-2 win over Kenya and their domination of the tournament over this period earned them the nickname 'the Black Stars of Africa.'

Ghana finished runners-up in AFCON in 1968 and 1970 under German manager Karl-Heinz Marotzke, and won the trophy again in 1978 with Fred Osam Duodu at the helm.

Gyamfi returned in 1982 to win the AFCON again and make himself the joint most successful coach in the competition's history.

Following their victory in 1982 the Black Stars went into decline, it would take them another 10 years to reach a final in the Africa Cup of Nations, beaten by the Ivory Coast on penalties in 1992.

Ghana reached the AFCON final in 2010 and 2015, finished third in 2008 and fourth in 1996, 2012, 2013 and 2017, but haven't lifted the trophy since 1982.

Ghana at the World Cup

Ghana made their World Cup debut in 2006, but it might have been earlier had in not been for a continent-wide boycott in 1966.

At the 2006 World Cup they reached the round of sixteen, after beating USA and Czech Republic in the group stages, where they lost to Brazil 3-0.

In the 2010 World Cup they made it through to the quarter-finals only losing to Uruguay in a penalty shootout. Asamoah Gyan had a chance to win the match in extra-time after Luis Suarez was sent off for a deliberate handball.

The 2014 World Cup saw them knocked out in the group stages despite good performances and a draw to eventual champions Germany.

Ghana failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia but booked their place in the 2022 Qatar World Cup after beating Nigeria on away goals in the CAF third round qualifying games.

They came into the World Cup following a poor year of performances with only two wins in twelve games. Their horrific form led to a managerial change with the removal of Milovan Rajevac and the appointment of former player Otto Addo.

In Qatar in 2022, Ghana were drawn in the same group as Uruguay, with the pair meeting in the final match.

Ghana were unlucky to lose their first game to Portugal 3-2, but then bounced back with a thrilling 3-2 win against South Korea. It was all set for an epic showdown with Uruguay with both looking to qualify.

However, on this occasion, both teams were eliminated, though it was Ghana who left with a feeling of vengeance.

Uruguay, who needed to win by three goals, could only muster a 2-0 victory as South Korea progressed to the knockout stage alongside group winners Portugal.

In a cruel twist of fate, Andre Ayew - who was the sole survivor of Ghana's squad from 12 years ago - missed a penalty in the early stages of the match.

Otto Addo resigned at the end of the tournament.

Ghana legends

Andre Ayew is currently the most capped player for the Ghanaian national side.

Asamoah Gyan is also the top scorer for the nation with 51 goals in 109 caps. He is the top African scorer in World Cup tournaments with six goals and has represented his country in three tournaments, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

He started his international career with a goal on his debut against Somalia in November 2003. He had a habit of scoring important goals for his country, it was his goal that saw them past the United States and into the quarter-final of the 2010 World Cup.

However, his World Cup was to end in disappointment following the missed penalty after Luis Suarez' famous handball. He would yet again miss an important penalty, this time in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final in 2012, resulting in him taking an 'indefinite break' from international football.

He came back to international football in the 2014 World Cup, scoring twice to become the African top scorer in the competition. He retired in 2019.

Another prolific Ghanaian goal scorer Tony Yeboah made 59 appearances and scored 29 goals for the Black Stars, making him the nations' fourth highest scorer ever.

He represented his country at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. It is argued that he is a part of a generation of Ghana players who did not live up to their potential.

Many members of the squad have reflected that internal disruption between Ghana's two best players at the time, Yeboah and Abedi Pele led to their underperformance in tournaments.

Supporters and rivalries

With a population of 32 million the Ghana national football has a gigantic fanbase. Their games have an average attendance of 60,000 and their record attendance reached beyond 80,000.

Ghana has forged a footballing rivalry with Nigeria. This is partly for political and land reasons, with the nations being in very close proximity to each other.

When the two sides meet on the football pitch the match is called the 'Jollof derby', a nod to an argument over which country makes the best Jollof rice.

The Black stars have the edge in this rivalry with 25 wins compared to Nigeria's 12.

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