[ 2012-01-02 ]
Asamoah: We want another go in 2014
One of the best players in a generation of
top-drawer Ghanaian talent, Udinese's Kwadwo
Asamoah has been a consistent force for club and
country since emerging on the world stage at the
start of 2010. In that year, the Accra native
played every match for the Black Stars as they
marched to the final of the CAF Africa Cup of
Nations and then narrowly missed being the first
African side to reach the semi-finals of the FIFA
In a team positively bursting with midfield
players, the 23-year-old proved to have a lethal
combination of strength, pace, technique and
vision, and he was voted the Most Promising Talent
on the continent by its international coaches.
Asamoah built on that success in 2011, playing a
major a role in Udinese unexpectedly finished
third in Serie A, which has reportedly put him on
the radar of Europe's biggest clubs, including
With I Zebrette just two points off the pace in
the Scudetto race and Ghana set to enter the CAF
Africa Cup of Nations among the favourites for
glory, FIFA.com caught up with the 23-year-old to
discuss those competitions, his nation's
quarter-final elimination at South Africa 2010,
the road to Brazil 2014 and life in Italy.
FIFA.com: Kwadwo, Udinese sold several key players
in the summer but have made a strong start in
Serie A and the UEFA Europa League. What will it
take for the club to compete with the big teams in
Kwadwo Asamoah: Last year we worked hard and
deserved the chance to play important matches.
These games against high-level opponents boost the
prestige of our club, and it is an opportunity we
should not miss. We always strive to do our best.
What has been the key to the club's success?
Our young age and mentality. We are one of the
teams with the lowest average age in the Serie A.
We help each other a lot on the pitch, and the
group is very united. Our mentality is the same as
a year ago, even though several new players have
You have been playing further back in the midfield
for Udinese. Has that made a big difference to
I do notice a difference between the national team
and the Italian league. With Ghana, I play behind
the only striker, Asamoah Gyan, while in Udine I
learnt to play as a left midfielder and help more
in all parts of the pitch. I even happened to play
How strong will Ghana be at the upcoming Cup
We are a good team, without any phenomenons but
with many quality players. If we are compact and
gritty as [coach Goran] Stevanovic asks, we will
be dangerous for anyone to play.
Do you think the absence of teams like Egypt,
Cameroon and Nigeria will make it an easier
competition to win than previously?
It is true that strong and successful teams will
be missing, but it still won't be easy to win the
continental tournament. Not even South Africa will
be there, but there are always new teams who will
make life hard for anyone. All the teams who
qualified for the finals deserved it.
Who do you see as the favourites? Can one of the
smaller teams make a big surprise?
I do not see any favourite. We all start on the
same level, so of course there could be a big
surprise. I see a very balanced tournament.
What do you think about the Brazil 2014 qualifying
draw? Who is you main opposition from Sudan,
Zambia and Lesotho?
It is not a difficult group. Zambia are certainly
the opponents to fear most.
How long did the disappointment of losing on
penalties in the South Africa 2010 quarter-finals
Football is like that. There are bad moments and
defeats to be swallowed. The good thing is that
you always have a chance to come back. We got
within a step of the semis, and in the last minute
we missed a penalty that would have allowed us to
make history, but it can happen. We hope to have a
chance to overcome it in the next World Cup. I
would like to have such an opportunity. Obviously
we were very sad, but in the end it is a football
How do you enjoy life in Italy?
I like living here. I have been in Udine for four
years, and I am truly happy to live in such a
pleasant place. I fit in completely.
After several years in that country, do you
consider yourself as a Ghanaian-Italian?
I am a Ghanaian and my nationality does not
change, but I am very happy to live in Italy.
Have you adopted the Italian foods already? Do you
choose pasta over fufu now?
I always eat Italian food. When I can, I do not
give up fufu, but I must say I prefer pasta or
Source - fifa.com
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