Is Ghana still a football powerhouse on the continent?

Emmanuel Kwarteng September 29, 2022
The Black Stars team has been the West African country's senior national male football team since the 1950s. Photo: GFA Communications

Ghana has an illustrious soccer history and is a soccer superpower in Africa. Since the team’s formation, the men’s national football team of Ghana has served as the country’s representative in international competitions.

The Black Stars is the team’s moniker in honor of the Black Star of Africa found on the Ghanaian flag. Ohene Djan formed the team in 1957 and has taken home four Africa Cup of Nations championships.

Erik Andreas Sjoberg, one of the first coaches of the Black Stars, was unable to get his team into the 1960 World Cup. Ghana would eventually become a legitimate football powerhouse as a result of the reformers in football, led by Djan, rising to the occasion.

Ghana has earned acclaim in recent years as the first African country to produce a true soccer superstar. As the first African team to play in the World Cup semifinals, this team came very close to making history.

With almost one billion people that watched the 2010 World Cup, the Black Stars’ triumph helped the nation secure its place in the spotlight. The popularity of sports across the continent is a major factor in its growth.

The soccer superpower in Africa boasts a number of lower-level teams in addition to its main squad. The junior team for the Black Stars is the largest in the nation. Two times, the team’s under-20 sides finished second in the African World Cup. They defeated Brazil 4-3 on penalties in 2013 to win the FIFA U-20 World Cup, becoming the first African team to do it.

The Black Stars have finished second five times (1968, 1970, 1992, 2010, and 2015) and have won the Africa Cup of Nations four times (1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982).

They’ve placed third nine times overall and fourth five times. They have won the continental championship four times in the past two years.

They have gained prominence as the soccer powerhouse of Africa thanks to their success. And their supporters adore them. They serve as the continent’s spine.

Qatar 2022

Ghana is among the five nations representing the African continent in this year’s FIFA World Cup. Given the Black Stars’ dismal showing at the Cameroon 2021 AFCON, there was virtually little chance that the country would make its fourth participation at the World Cup later in the year.

But, surprise, magic has worked! Despite a string of subpar performances, the team will be in Qatar in November thanks to Chris Hughton’s technical guidance and the technical team of Otto Addo, George Boateng, and Masud Didi Dramani. Any of these are coaches in their own right, and they all have the credentials to lead the Black Stars by themselves.

Nevertheless, they decided to collaborate, even if it meant swallowing their pride and putting aside their differences in order to work for the good of the country, rebrand the squad, and reignite support for the Black Stars. 

Despite the successes the senior national team has chalked in the past years, recent happenings give credence to the question of whether “Ghana is still a football powerhouse on the continent?” 

The team hasn’t been able to win enough games after its struggle to qualify for the world cup. Football lovers were somewhat dissatisfied with the tactical decisions that were made in the match against Brazil. 

Ghana lost 3-0 to the South American football giant. However, the team redeemed its deteriorating image with a 1-0 win over the Nicaraguan side.

Supporters from both home and abroad can only wish the team well in their quest to bring the coveted trophy to the continent for the first time.

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