Gyan eyes World Cup with Ghana

Asamoah Gyan is bidding to make a shock return to the international fold as he eyes a spot in Ghana’s squad for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

The unattached 36-year-old won the last of his 107 caps for the Black Stars in July 2019, and has not played a club game since an outing in April 2021 for Accra-based side Legon Cities

But the former Udinese, Rennes and Sunderland forward says he is embarking on a fitness programme with the hope of appearing at what would be his fourth World Cup finals.

“Talent wise, everything is there already, so I just have to prepare physically,” he told the BBC World Service.

“The World Cup is every footballer’s dream. I think I’ve got a bit of energy left in me to prove myself once again.

“I’ve been out for almost two years now due to injuries but I just need to get my body back in shape. It’s an eight-week programme and according to my physical instructor I’m improving faster than he thought.

“Then I must see how my body reacts to playing competitive football.”

Gyan has scored 51 goals for Ghana, and six of those have come at the World Cup, where he featured in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Those feats make him both his country’s all-time record goal-scorer, and Africa’s top goal-scorer at the World Cup finals.

He turns 37 two days before Ghana’s Group H opener against Portugal on November 24, but says his age is no barrier to playing in Qatar, citing the example of another African great.

“I haven’t announced my retirement,” he said.

“Anything can happen, you know. It’s happened before, talking about Cameroon in 1994, with Roger Milla coming back from retirement to play in a World Cup.”

However, Gyan has not held conversations with Ghana coach Otto Addo or technical director Chris Hughton, who have been busy bolstering the squad’s options with members of the diaspora such as Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey and Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams.

“Honestly I haven’t spoken to anybody at all,” Gyan said.

“It’s part of the plan. I just want to make sure I see how my body reacts first. I just need to get to some level and then I can say I’m ready.

“Everything looks positive, so we’ll see what happens. There might be a surprise.” – BBC

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