Top 10 greatest Ghanaian footballers in the history of the sport

Top 10 greatest Ghanaian footballers in the history of the sport

Kevin Omuya
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:28 PM

Famous Ghanaian footballers are among the best to ever play on the African continent. The Black Stars have consistently fielded one of the continent's strongest squads. The Ghana national football team has won the Africa Cup of Nations and numerous other sports titles and honors.

Ghanaian footballers
Asamoah Gyan (3) of Ghana celebrates with teammates after scoring for Ghana against the United States at Pratt & Whitney Stadium on July 1st 2017, in East Hartford, Connecticut. Photo: Tim Clayton
Source: Getty Images

The Ghana Black Stars are among the top African national teams, boasting an impressive winning record. Some of the best athletes on the African continent call Ghana home, and the country's track record in competition backs up this reputation. Ghana has won four continental titles, five silver medals, and one bronze medal.

1. Abedi Pele

Ghanaian footballers
Abedi Pele of Marseille during the France Division 1 match against Cannes, at Velodrome Stadium, Marseille, France on 25th April 1992. Photo: Eric Renard
Source: Getty Images

Abedi Ayew is frequently called "Abedi Pele" in the football community due to his many resemblances to the Brazilian icon of the same name. That proves he was highly regarded for an outstanding career that garnered innumerable individual accolades.

From 1991 to 1993, he was named Africa's top soccer player three years in a row. Twice in his playing career, he was shortlisted for FIFA's World Player of the Year award, with the best result being ninth place in 1992. As one of the most famous Ghanaian footballers, he was the only representative on the FIFA 100. The International Federation of Football History and Statistics ranked him third all-time among African players.

2. Michael Essien

Greatest Ghanaian footballers
Ghanaian midfielder and former Chelsea player Michael Essien takes part in a training session with Denmark's football club FC Nordsjaelland in Farum Park on August 20, 2020. Photo: Martin Sylvest
Source: Getty Images

He won four league crowns and seven domestic European championships in his career. Michael Essien was regarded as the best midfielder in the world during his time at Chelsea. The Ghanaian was so adaptable that Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho frequently started him as a centre-back while he was on loan from Manchester United.

After becoming the most expensive African player of all time with his transfer from Lyon to Stamford Bridge, Essien quickly became a key national team member. By the time he was 31, he had helped the 2012 Chelsea club win the Champions League, four league titles, seven domestic cup titles, and the FA Cup. In 2008, he was recognised as Ghana's top sportsman. Essien was one of the most talented Ghanaian footballers.

3. Samuel Kuffour

Most talented Ghanaian footballers
Bayern Munich's Samuel Osei Kuffou with the ball during Bayern vs Hamburg at Allianz Arena in 2003. Photo: Adam Davy
Source: Getty Images

As a result of his extraordinary strength, Samuel Kuffour became a folk hero in Europe and Africa. The veteran defender spent 12 years at Bayern Munich, making 277 games there. Six Bundesliga crowns and the Champions League were among his 14 German victories. Recognising his performances, he was voted Ghana's "Player of the Year" thrice (1998, 1999, and 2001). Kuffour is one of the greatest Ghanaian footballers.

The 53-time national team player who finished second in the African Footballer of the Year voting twice. The results he enjoyed with Ghana were better than the ones he had with Bayern. He called it quits in 2010. Kuffour is considered one of the best African footballers by the prestigious Confederation of African Football. In 2007, it was declared that this would occur.

4. Asamoah Gyan

Most famous Ghanaian footballers
Ghana's forward and captain Asamoah Gyan (L) celebrates after scoring during a Group G football match in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 21, 2014. Photo: Carl DeSouza
Source: Getty Images

Gyan has been inducted into the Black Stars' all-time roster and is a former team captain. He has scored 51 goals in 109 games for Ghana. The three times that Ghana qualified for the World Cup, in 2006, 2010, and 2014, were mainly due to his goal-scoring prowess. A two-time winner of Ghana's player of the year award, he has also been nominated for the Ballon d'Or.

Although one of West Africa's greatest goal scorers, Gyan will be known for his penalty miss in the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals against Uruguay. Gyan is one of the famous Ghanaian footballers.

5. Tony Yeboah

Who is the best Ghanaian footballer of all-time?
Tony Yeboah during a match between Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United in the English Premier League on January 01, 1995. Photo: Christian Liewig
Source: Getty Images

Former Ghana national team striker Anthony Yeboah is now a professional football player. Because of his spectacular goals and how he waved his index finger at the crowd after each, he became known as one of Ghana and Africa's most well-known and prolific goal scorers.

Throughout the 1990s, Yeboah was a professional soccer player for numerous European clubs, including 1. FC Saarbrücken, Eintracht Frankfurt, Leeds United, and Hamburger SV. Before joining Al-Ittihad Doha, he played for Asante Kotoko, Cornerstones Kumasi, Okwawu United, and Asante Kotoko again.

He played in 59 international matches for Ghana and scored 29 times. At Eintracht Frankfurt, he won the Bundesliga Golden Boot in 1992–1993, 1999, and 1994.

6. Mohammed Ahmed Polo

Most famous Ghanaian footballers
Could have won 15 Ballon D'ors - Ghanaians react to an old video of Mohammed Polo's dribbling skills. Photo: @ghanasoccernet on Twitter
Source: UGC

Polo was once called the "Dribbling Wizard" and once said he was superior to Lionel Messi on the field. Polo is one of the best players in Ghanaian history and a technical genius. Throughout his career, he was a part of the Hearts of Oak organisation as a player and a coach. In his spectacular career, Poloonce took his talents abroad to Dubai Al Wasl, where he spent five years spreading joy.

But as captain of the Black Stars in 1978, he achieved his greatest triumph on the international stage. He won the inaugural "Ghanaian Player of the Year" award three years ago.

7. Thomas Partey

Young Ghanaian footballers
Thomas Partey of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and AFC Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium on March 4, 2023, in London, United Kingdom. Photo: James Williamson
Source: Getty Images

Midfielder for the Ghana national team and Arsenal of the Premier League, Thomas Teye Partey, is a professional football player. When he signed with Arsenal for £45 million, he became the most expensive player from Ghana in history. Partey has competed for Ghana in three consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournaments (2017, 2019, and 2021).

Besides being selected for CAF's Team of the Year in 2017, he earned the country's Player of the Year title in 2018 and 2019. Two years running as of this writing, Partey has been named Ghana's "Player of the Year" (2018, 2019).

8. Jordan Ayew

Famous Ghanaian footballers
Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Crystal Palace at Gtech Community Stadium on February 18, 2023, in Brentford, United Kingdom. Photo: Rob Newell
Source: Getty Images

Jordan Pierre Ayew is a Ghanaian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Crystal Palace in the Premier League and the Ghana national team. His father, Abedi Pele, was a football legend, and he has two famous brothers, André and Ibrahim Ayew. On September 5, 2010, Ayew debuted for Ghana's senior national team in a 2012 AFCON Qualifying match against Swaziland at the Somhlolo National Stadium in Lobamba, Swaziland. Ghana won the game 3-0. Hi

9. Daniel Amartey

Best Ghanaian footballers
Daniel Amartey of Leicester City during the Premier League game against Newcastle United at King Power Stadium on December 26, 2022, in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo: Plumb Images
Source: Getty Images

Professional footballer Daniel Amartey plays defence or midfield for the Ghana national team and Premier League club Leicester City. Before moving to Leicester City in 2016, Amartey played for Djurgrden and Copenhagen. He helped Leicester City won FA Cup final victory over Chelsea on May 15, 2021.

10. Mohammed Kudus

Who is the best Ghanaian footballer of all-time?
Mohammed Kudus of Ajax during the Dutch Eredivisie match between SC Heerenveen and Ajax at the Abe Lenstra Stadium on March 12, 2023, in Heerenveen, Netherlands. Photo: Rico Brouwer
Source: Getty Images

Ajax and the Ghana national team both use midfielder Mohammed Kudus. He plays soccer professionally for Ghana. Kudus joined Ajax on July 16, 2020, and will spend the next five seasons competing in the Eredivisie with the club. On September 20,t RKC Waalwijk was in the league, and he made his debut for the club.

Kudus's head coach Erik ten Hag, later lauded his future "great potential" as a footballer. The young Ghanaian footballer played his first three games and displayed tremendous play, scoring once and assisting on three goals.

Who is the best Ghanaian footballer of all time?

The 36-year-old striker has more goals and caps than any other player in the national team's history. With his 51 goals in 109 games, he led Ghana to the World Cup in 2006, 2010, and 2014. He was nominated for the Ballon d'Or in 2010 and won Ghana's Player of the Year award twice.

The listed Ghanaian footballers have made lasting contributions to their national team over several years or have enjoyed brief but fruitful careers. Regarding national teams on the African continent, the Black Stars of Ghana are among the best.

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Kevin Omuya
Kevin Omuya is a Content Writer with 4 years of experience who joined Sports Brief in 2022. In 2019 he held a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Digital Media from KCA University.