x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Ghana captain Gyan happy to put country before goals record

The Al Ain forward insists he is 'strong and focused' after a rollercoaster 2012 as he looks to become the first Ghana captain to lift the African Cup of Nations trophy in more than 30 years.

Ghana captain and Al Ain forward Asamoah Gyan.
Ghana captain and Al Ain forward Asamoah Gyan.

Asamoah Gyan insists he is not worried about his lack of goals for the Ghana national team going into this month's African Cup of Nations.

The Al Ain striker is the Pro League's top scorer with 21 goals already this season, but he has scored just five times in four appearances at the Pan-African competition.

However the 27-year-old says his focus is on playing for the national team rather than as an individual.

"I'm not disturbed because my ratio of goals with the national team is impressive," he told Fifa's official website.

"It is natural people expect you to score as striker, but it is not always so. Sometimes you have to create the chances for others to also score. I always do my best to help the team to victory."

Ghana are currently training in Abu Dhabi ahead of leaving for the African Cup of Nations in South Africa next week.

Gyan was named Ghana captain last year after returning to the international fold, having originally taken a break from the national side after being criticised by supporters following the country's exit from the African Cup of Nations.

His nomination as captain came after a year which saw him help fire Al Ain to championship success in the Pro League before making his loan move from Sunderland permanent.

But he admits the loss of his mother in a car accident greatly affected him.

"2012 was a positive one for my career, but with some good and bad moments," he said.

"Losing my mum was a big blow. But I'm mentally strong and focused now."

Gyan - who insists he will not take penalties for Ghana despite six of his 21 goals for Al Ain coming from the spot this season - was not born the last time Ghana won a major trophy, but after recent coaching upheavals believes he may be the first captain in more than 30 years to lift the trophy.

"I'm very hopeful we can break the jinx and end the long wait for the African title," he said.

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