I’m playing midfield at AFCON for tactical reasons – Kwadwo Asamoah
Ghana international Kwadwo Asamoah says he will be mainly used in midfield at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) which starts on Friday.
The 30-year-old’s possible playing role with the Black Stars at the June 21-July 19 championship in Egypt has become a major topic of discussion following his recent return to national duty after a four-year self-imposed sabbatical.
Asamoah, who made his breakthrough as a midfielder with Italian club Udinese and Ghana at the 2010 Africa Cup and Fifa World Cup, has played at left-back for most of the last six years.
“I’m a player that can play in so many roles on the field of play: I can be a midfielder, I can also support the attack, I can play at left-back and also left forward,” he told TV3.
“I spoke with the [Ghana] coach [James Appiah] and told him he knows the qualities that I have and what I can do for this national team.
“So we shared an idea and I told him he knows perfectly when I come to the midfield, I excel more than playing from the back because African football is totally different from [that of] Europe.”
Asamoah’s role on the left side of defence began during his time under Antonio Conte at Juventus.
At new club Internazionale, he is mainly deployed at the back.
“In Europe, the way we play depends on how the coach wants us to play but with African football, it’s more physical and there is no space, so with me playing from left-back, I will not find it easy,” Asamoah continued.
“So with what people know and what I know and what everyone knows, when it comes to the national team, I am always good when I play from the midfield so he also accepted and said ‘I will try and play you from the midfield’ but in any situation or any case when we need help from the left-back I’m always there.”
Asamoah’s only left back stint for Ghana was at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil where the Black Stars exited the competition in the group stage.
Ghana have been drawn against Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau in the group stage of the upcoming Afcon.