After an embarrassing African Cup showing, Ghana has looked overseas to rebuild for the World Cup in Qatar.
The reinforcements have come from Germany, England, and Spain.
New coach Otto Addo, who was born and played in Germany, used those roots to convince former German under-21 internationals Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer and Stephan Ambrosius to switch allegiance to Ghana.
Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey is now a Ghana player after representing England at the youth level. Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams, who made one appearance for Spain in 2016, is also part of Addo’s evolving squad.
The Black stars will open against Portugal and also play South Korea and Uruguay.
The Ghanaians are the clear outsiders in Group H and few are predicting a run to the quarterfinals to match the highs of the 2010 World Cup.
-African cup embarrassment-
Ghana’s World Cup year began with a disappointing performance at the African Cup of Nations, where the four-time champions were eliminated in the group stage with a loss to Comoros, the tiny island nation that was playing at its first major championship.
Ghana’s worst performance ever at the African Cup plunged the country’s soccer fans into despair and led to a major overhaul.
Coach Milovan Rajevac was fired after a four-month spell in charge — his second with Ghana — and Addo was given the task of leading the recovery as the head of a completely new coaching team.
Convincing Williams to play for Ghana was a big win, although it will lead to a busy few weeks for the Williams family during the World Cup with Inaki’s younger brother Nico likely to be in the Spain squad.
Inaki Williams and Lamptey made their debuts for the Black Stars in a 3-0 loss to Brazil in September. Williams has refreshed a Ghana attack that has relied heavily on Ayew brothers ( Andre and Jordan) in recent years.
They both look to be nearing the end of their international careers and are likely heading for World Cup swansongs in Qatar.