- Jérémy Doku, Nico Williams, Kobbie Mainoo, Eddie Nkettiah, and Hudson Odoi are some of the most talented players Ghanaians hoped would have rocked the colours of the Black Stars
- These footballers, for one reason or another, chose to play for foreign countries over the Ghanaian national team
- Speaking to YEN.com.gh, respected sports journalist Fiifi Anaman shared some insights into the reason behind this phenomenon and why Ghana is unable to attract these big talents
Playing for the national team of the country one is from or traces their root from is often ascribed with pride, but certain players sometimes have different world views and rather opt to play for a different nation. YEN.com.gh takes a closer look at five exceptionally talented Ghanaian footballers who have chosen not to represent the Black Stars, Ghana's national football team, but have instead opted to play for other nations.
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Manchester City star Jérémy Doku, who plays for Belgium
Jérémy Doku, currently plying his trade with Manchester City, is one of the brightest sparks in the Premier League. Known for his dazzling dribbling and exceptional technical ability, Doku could have been a tremendous asset to the Ghanaian national team. However, he made the decision to play for Belgium, his country of birth, despite having Ghanaian parents.
Nico Williams plays for the Spanish national team
Unlike his brother Iñaki Williams, who represents Spain, Nico Williams chose to play for the Spanish national team as well. Born in Spain to Ghanaian parents, he currently plays for Athletic Bilbao in La Liga. Nico's family's journey from Ghana across the Sahara Desert to reach Melilla, an autonomous Spanish city in North Africa, adds more intrigue to his international football story.
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Manchester United Kobbie Mainoo
Kobbie Mainoo, a promising young midfielder at Manchester United, is proving himself to be quite the talent. Born to Ghanaian parents, he was bred and raised in Stockport, England. Mainoo has already represented England at various youth levels, including under-17, under-18, and under-19. While he still has the chance to represent Ghana in the future, for now, his allegiance lies with the English national team.
Arsenal star Eddie Nketiah
Arsenal's striker, Eddie Nketiah, is one of the many talents that the Ghanaian national team is missing out on. Despite being born to Ghanaian parents, the young striker has yet to play for the Black Stars. Nketiah made his international debut for England at under-19 level, scoring a goal against Saudi Arabia. He remains eligible to play for Ghana, but his international future is yet to be decided.
Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi
Callum Hudson-Odoi was on the verge of joining the Black Stars in 2022 before the World Cup. The young Chelsea star was courted by Ghana but never made a final decision to play for the national team. Hudson-Odoi was born in Wandsworth, London, to Ghanaian parents and raised in the same city. His potential switch to the Ghanaian national team sparked a lot of interest, but as of now, he remains uncommitted to either England or Ghana.
An expert opinion
Fiifi Anaman, a well respected sports journalist, opened up about this phenomena and the reason Ghana is unable to attract big talents. He said:
I think the Black Stars as an institution is not attractive to certain players because of age-old rumours of corruption and nepotism with regards to player selection. The team has also been on a decline since the famous quarter final exploit at the South Africa World Cup, as well as being trophyless for over 40 years, which has reduced its power to attract. Some people close to the team have also observed that politics is rife among the playing body.
He further proffered a solution to the issue. He added:
The coaches and management of the team must be more transparent and accountable in their dealings
Master Richard’s intention to coach Black Stars
In another story, Ghanaian veteran actor Master Richard boldly claimed he can coach the Black Stars because of his UEFA B coaching license.
The famous actor revealed that he had the opportunity to take coaching lessons from the English Football Association.
Master Richard confessed that football in Ghana is failing, and the country needs to return to the foundations of the game for it to change.
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