8 Top Ghanaian Players Who Chose Euro Nations Over the Black Stars
- Ghana has been fortunate enough to convince some footballers born abroad to play for the Black Stars
- But there are other Ghanaian-born footballers who chose not to represent the African champions
- Sports Brief highlights the top Ghana players who represented other countries, including Balotelli
If you know how many Ghanaian footballers are playing for other countries, you would see that the Black Stars could have probably lifted the FIFA World Cup already.
Beyond the coveted Mundial, even the Africa Cup of Nations would have been one of the permanent trophies in the Ghana Football Association secretariat's cabinet.
The four-time champions are zealously seeking to end a 40-year wait for continental glory, having clinched the last coronet as far back as 1982 when the biennial football festival was held in Tripoli, Libya.
Ghana can boast of some of the finest footballers born abroad.
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Players like Kevin-Prince Boateng, Quincy Owusu Abeyie, Adam Larsen Kwarasey, Antoine Semenyo and Dennis Odoi are just a few of the players who were born abroad but chose to represent Ghana.
However, there have been many more footballers of Ghanaian descent who rejected the call to play for the West African country.
Here are eight top Ghanaian-born footballers who decided to represent other countries.
Gerald Asamoah (Ghana to Germany)
Born in Ghana, Asamoah and his family emigrated to Germany in 1990.
He made his debut for Germany in 2001 against Slovakia, making him the first African-born player to ever play for the side, as Erwin Kostedde and Jimmy Hartwig - two previous internationals with black ancestry - were both born in Germany to African-American fathers.
Asamoah scored on his debut for the Die Mannschaft and went on to play in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.
Danny Welbeck (Ghana to England)
Funnily enough, the Brighton and Hove forward made his debut for England against Ghana in 2011 - the nation who he could’ve chosen to play for.
The former Manchester United striker was booed by Ghanaians when he made his entrance as a substitute in the game. Although he was born and raised in England, Welbeck’s parents are both from the west African nation.
The ex-Arsenal forward’s full name is Daniel Nii Tackie Mensah Welbeck and he has played 42 games for the Three Lions, scoring 16 goals.
Memphis Depay (Ghana to Netherlands)
The 26-year-old was born to a Ghanaian father and a Dutch mother in Moordrecht.
The Barcelona forward, despite not featuring for the Black Stars, often comes to Ghana to relax and support children with special disabilities among many other things.
Despite the strong ties, Depay chose to represent The Netherlands at a national level.
Jerome Boateng (Ghana to Germany)
Although Lyon’s towering central defender was born and raised in Germany’s capital, Boateng comes from a home of a Ghanaian father. He has visited the West African country before, describing the experience as 'emotional'.
Boateng excelled at the youth level for Germany, as did his brother, Kevin-Prince - who opted to rather represent Ghana - the country for whom his uncle Robert had also played.
Jerome opted instead for Germany - where the two had excelled at the youth level.
Mario Balotelli (Ghana to Italy)
Balotelli received his first Ghana call-up from former Black Stars coach, Claude Le Roy for a friendly against Senegal in 2007, as his parents are both Ghanaian-born. But he refused to honour the invitation, citing he was waiting for Italy to give him the nod.
Arguably one of the most controversial characters in world football, the former Liverpool forward has scored 13 times for Italy in 33 appearances.
Marcel Desailly (Ghana to France)
Desailly made the controversial decision to play for France, instead of his parent's home country of Ghana. He has often said that he feels totally French and while having ties with his native country, never even considered playing for another team than Les Bleus.
This stance was restated in his autobiography, published in 2002. He made his international debut in 1993, but was not established as a first-choice defender until 1996. He won the 1998 World Cup and the European Championships in 2000.
After the tournament, Desailly was made the captain of the national team, following the retirement of Didier Deschamps. In 2001, he led France to victory in the Confederations Cup.
Alphonso Davies (Ghana to Canada)
The Bayern Munich defender was born in Buduburam, a Ghanaian refugee camp, after his parents had fled the civil war in Liberia. The Davies family were able to immigrate to Canada when Alphonso was five, eventually settling in Edmonton, Alberta.
The teenager would have been eligible to represent his country of birth at the international level, but chose to play for Canada.
After featuring for the U17 and U20 teams, he made history as the youngest player to turn out for the seniors, debuting against Curaçao on 14 June 2017. He had obtained his Canadian citizenship only a week earlier.