Ghana: Asamoah Gyan


Written by Avery Rape in 2013

Updated by Andrew Istler in 2015

Forward, #3, 29 Years Old


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Born on November 22, 1985 in Accra, Ghana, Asamoah Gyan made his international debut at forward for Ghana at age 17. He scored his first goal against Somalia in 2003 in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier, making him the youngest player ever to score for Ghana and went on to score 4 goals in 7 games during the 2006 WC qualifying campaign. In that same world cup, he scored in 68 seconds, the fastest goal scored during the 2006 WC tournament. That same goal was also the first ever goal for Ghana in a World Cup.[1]




Gyan started his professional club career with Liberty Professionals in 2003 scoring ten goals for them before being signed to Udinese later in the year. For Udinese, an Italian football club that has been in both Serie A and B, he scored 11 goals in 39 appearances. The years from 2003-2008 Gyan spent with Udinese where he improved his game before being loaned to Modena for two years and then traded to French Ligue 1 Club Stade Rennes for 4 years on an 8 million euro transfer fee.


Gyan made 74 appearances for the French club and scored 13 goals in the 2009-10 season, enhancing his reputation as a prominent goal scorer.[2] In the 2013-2014 season Gyan really rose above the competition and scored 44 goals in 40 matches.[9] At Sunderland he continued to strive and scored his first goal for them in his debut against Wigan Athletic. He scored twice in his first Premier League start in a 2-0 win against Stoke City. He finished his first season in the EPL with 10 league goals. In 2011 Gyan went on a loan for the season to club Al Ain FC where he would receive up to four times his previous salary and provide the club with 22 goals that season. During the summer of 2011 he was permanently traded to Al Ain and signed a 5-year contract worth over 6.4 million euros. He helped the club retain their UAE league title and was once again the top goal scorer in the league in 2013.[3]





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As mentioned before, Gyan’s first world cup performance was in 2006, however it was in 2010 where he really began to shine. Ghana started the tournament off in Group D and Gyan scored the winning goal against Serbia in their opening match. He scored once again against Australia where they tied 1-1. Ghana finished off the group play with a loss to Germany, but finished second in Group D, therefore qualifying for the round of 16 against the United States, in which Gyan scored the winning goal in overtime. Gyan’s goal made Ghana only the third African team in history to reach the World Cup quarterfinals. With that goal, he became an African hero. Their luck began to change when it seemed that Ghana has scored in the final minute of extra time, however Luis Suarez cleared the ball off the line with his hand, giving Ghana a penalty kick. He would miss the penalty kick and Ghana would eventually lose in a penalty kick shootout.[4] The entire team and all of Africa was distraught at the extremely unlucky ending, and now as they have qualified for their third world cup in a row, Ghana will be back for revenge in Brazil 2014.


Gyan is a “very skillful, aggressive, very quick, combatant, good in the air, and above all a good finisher” according to[5] He specifically has been on a tear entering the 2014 world cup. In qualifying he has 6 goals including two in the shocking 6-1 victory over Egypt. On November 20 which sealed Ghana’s spot in the 2014 World Cup. Gyan, the captain, started off the Ghanaian excitement in the fifth minute of the first game against Egypt as the crowd of nearly 40,000 began to cheer and he was surrounded by his teammates.[6]


“It’s a great moment to remember,” Gyan told about his opening goal, “You can’t really expect such a massive result against a team like Egypt. We were hoping to get a comfortable win at home, but things just went right for us on the night.”[7]


As Gyan begins his third world cup, he is about to become Ghana’s all-time leading scorer and is listed as a potentially being named 2013’s African footballer of the year. Gyan described the Ghanaian team as “desperate to get back to the World Cup.”[8] This group of men has a lot to prove to them and to Africa. Gyan specifically, is excited to return to the world stage that left him so devastated four years ago. He has a point to prove in this world cup. He has had a tumultuous international career, however he seems to be peaking at the right time and will definitely be there to entertain the world audience this summer.


In the beginning of the tournament in Brazil, all of Africa will be cheering on its four teams, but all realistic expectation will rest on Ghana. The Black Stars were quarterfinalists in 2010 and are expected to go even further and maybe even to the championship this time around. All of Africa will rally behind them, as they did three years ago.

How Gyan and Ghana did during the 2014 World Cup:

Ghana’s first match in the 2014 world cup was against the United States. The United States secured an early lead with Clint Dempsey’s goal that was clocked at 29 seconds, making it the 5th fastest scored goal in World Cup history. It wasn’t until there were 8 minutes left in the match that Ghana scored the equalizer. However, in the 86th minute the United States substitute Brooks found the back of the net securing the Americans Victory.[10]

Ghana and Gyan were held in check their first match of the tournament, however this wasn’t true for their second match. They were facing the favored German squad. It was the Germans who scored first in the 51st minute. Gotze connected on a cross that flew passed the goalkeeper. Ghana came ready to play though and answered with a header of their own only 3 minutes later in the match. It was finally Gyan’s turn, he scored to put the Ghana team ahead. This goal tied Gyan with Roger Milla as the top-scoring African in World Cup history. Germany would not go down without a fight though, in the 71st minute Germany scored on a corner kick. The game ended at 2-2.[11]

Ghana’s final match in group play was against Ronaldo and Portugal. Portugal got off to an early start with an own goal by John Boye. The 1-0 Portugal lead did not last long though because Gyan and Ghana was not about to be shutout. Gyan scored in the 57th minute tying the game and putting Gyan ahead of Milla as the all time leading African scorer in World Cup history. Gyan’s personal accomplishment did not correlate with the outcome of the game. Portugal ended up winning the match 2-1 ending Ghana’s hopes of advancing to the knockout round.[12]



Click here to return to the Players to Watch home page.

Continue to Group G – Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo

Group G – Germany: Mesut Özil

Group G – United States: Clint Dempsey

Click here to return to the Confederation of African Football page.

Learn about Ghana’s National Anthem


How to cite this article: “Ghana: Asamoah Gyan” Written by Avery Rape (2013), World Cup 2014, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, (accessed on (date)).


Works Cited:


[2] ibid

[3] ibid





[8] ibid







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