Ghana’s 2010 World Cup star Annan still open to Black Stars recall 

    The Finland-based midfielder has refused closing the chapter on his international career 

    Ghana midfielder Anthony Annan reveals he remains available for national duty despite a long absence from the Black Stars.

    Currently on the books of Finnish side Inter Turku, the 33-year-old burst onto the international scene at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on home soil where he helped Ghana finish the competition with bronze.

    Two years later, he put up an amazing performance as the Black Stars reached the quarter-final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

    “I am available for selection if he needs me,” Annan, who has spent over five years in the international wilderness, told Akoma FM.

    “I am still playing active football in Finland. Ghana is my country and I cannot turn my back to my nation if my services are needed.

    “I don’t know much about [new Black Stars coach] CK Akonnor but I know he was selected based on his competence and I believe with our support, he can surely deliver.”

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    Thursday marked exactly 10 years since the famous World Cup campaign where Ghana just narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-final as Asamoah Gyan missed a last-gasp penalty to win it all for the Black Stars in a thrilling encounter with Uruguay.

    Following a 1-1 draw after normal time, the game headed into extra-time where Ghana won a penalty in what was to be the last kick of the game, Luis Suarez having blocked a goal-bound Dominic Adiyiah header with his hand.

    After the Uruguay hit-man was sent off for his unprofessional act, Gyan, who had successfully converted two penalties prior in the tournament, stepped up but could only drive his shot against the upright.

    A penalty shoot-out followed shortly where the Black Stars lost 4-2.

    A win would have made Ghana the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.

    “It pains me when some Ghanaians criticise Asamoah Gyan for the penalty miss against Uruguay,” Annan remarked.

    “It’s so sad because we all knew he was our first penalty taker but that’s football, you can’t score all the time.”

    Annan also spoke on the struggles of former club Hearts of Oak who have not won a major title since winning the Ghana Premier League in 2009.

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    “There are three clubs that made me who I am today which includes Hearts of Oak and [Sekondi] Hasaacas and Vipers,” Annan said.

    “I wish to see hearts bounce back to the good old days but that can only be achieved with hard work and good leadership.”

    Annan has also played for German sides Schalke 04 and 1860 Munich, Spanish fold Osasuna, Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem, Beitar Jerusalem in Israel, HJK in Finland and the Norwegian trio of IK Start, Stabaek and Rosenborg. 

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