FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP: Kwame Bonsu & Ghana’s Representatives


The 16th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup (CWC) — an international club football tournament contested by winners of the six premier continental championships and the host nation’s league champions — is underway in Doha, Qatar. No Ghanaian club has yet made an appearance in the competition’s history — Hearts of Oak missed their chance in 2001, though through no fault of theirs — but 10 of the country’s players have featured for other clubs thus far.

Daily Mail GH runs through the lot:

1. JAPAN 2006

Image result for akwetey mensah al ahly

2006 marked the debut of Ghana’s Black Stars at the FIFA World Cup, but it was also the year when a Ghanaian first appeared at the CWC. Egyptian giant Al Ahly had Mohamed Aboutrika as the brightest star of a remarkable team, but a relatively little-known Ghanaian, Akwetey Mensah, was present, too. He didn’t contribute much as Ahly went on to claim third place, however, as Mensah was only handed a tiny slice of Ahly’s first game against Auckland City by head coach Manuel Jose.

2. JAPAN 2007

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Moussa Narry — or Moses Narh, as most Ghanaians would find more familiar — raised the bar a little higher at the next edition. He scored late to secure his team’s only win — 1-0 over Mexico’s Pachuca in their opening fixture — and also lasted the entire course of the remaining two matches, with the Nejma eventually finishing fourth. Days after the tournament ended, Narry received an invitation to join Ghana’s preliminary squad for the following year’s Africa Cup of Nations, although he didn’t make it to the finals itself.

3. UAE 2010

Image result for sulley muntari inter milan

Sulley Muntari became Ghana’s first winner of the CWC, as part of an all-conquering Inter Milan side. He played one of two games, the semi-final victory over Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma of South Korea, replacing Diego Milito in the 77th minute. A month later, in the New Year, Muntari left on loan for Sunderland in the Premier League.

4. JAPAN 2011

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Tunisia’s Esperance had qualified for the CWC a month prior by defeating Wydad Casablanca of Morocco across two legs to win the CAF Champions League. The difference between the two North African sides was a Harrison Afful goal in Rades, and the Ghanaian right-back was again in the thick of affairs when Esperance turned up for the global showpiece shortly thereafter. He enjoyed the full duration of one game and half of another, but his club failed to win either and exited a lowly fifth.

5. JAPAN 2015

Image result for daniel nii adjei yaw frimpong richard kissi boateng

TP Mazembe’s 23-man squad for the 2015 tournament featured five Ghanaians, three of whom — Richard Kissi Boateng, Yaw Frimpong, and Daniel Nii Adjei — tasted some action for Les Corbeaux. Only Frimpong participated in both games, while Gladson Awako and Solomon Asante didn’t play at all. Patrice Carteron’s charges didn’t do too well, however, bowing out second to last.

6. QATAR 2019

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A little over a year ago, Kwame Bonsu had just been released from imprisonment in Sweden, with his football career requiring something short of a miracle for revival. Local club Asante Kotoko — where the aforementioned Nii Adjei, Frimpong, and Afful played before moving abroad — offered him a lifeline, and Bonsu made the most of it with some top performances in last season’s CAF Confederation Cup and in domestic competitions. Those fine displays landed him a transfer to reigning African champions Esperance, where he has had a chance to play at the 2019 Club World Cup — to be graced later today by the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane — and lasting all but the final minutes of both games for the Blood & Gold.

NY Frimpong — Daily Mail GH

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