"Can become one of the World's best"
By Thomas Myren, 9 May 2010, 14:58
Anthony Annan is set to begin his World Cup preperations after being named in Ghana's preliminary squad.
Photo: Thomas Karlsen
"I'm very happy to be among the 30 players the coach has chosen to start the campaign. Some players are to be taken out of the squad, so I'm gonna work hard to make it into the final 23-man squad to South Africa," Annan told rosenboirg.info.
Most likely this cut will be just a formality for Annan, as a regular in the national team the last years.
"I will be very, very happy. You know it's a big tournament, every player in the World wants to play there. I have the chance of making it into to the 23-man squad, and I'm looking forward to this big event."
Is it something extra with the World Cup being played in Africa for the first time?
"Yeah, I think it's really special. We are hosting it for the first time. South Africa is a great country, and they will enjoy it - it will be really exciting."
Rosenborg coach Erik Hamrén congratulates his player in this way:
"He is in my opinion the best defensive midfielder in Scandinavia, and he has the opportunity of becoming one of the World's best."
Annan is expected to draw attention from big European clubs. He missed the first round and the quarter final of the African cup of nations in January due to a thigh injury, but made the most of it in the semi final and final. As winners Egypt did not qualify for the World Cup, Ghana is the strongest African participant on the paper.
"I think it nevertheless will be difficult to go through from the group stage. Germany is a strong contender in the World of football and Serbia won their qualifying group in front of France. Australia has good players playing overseas. So I think it gonna be difficult for us. We have to strive and work hard to go through the first round. We have to go to the first round and see what will happen."
27/5 friendly against local club side in Paris
1/6 friendly against Netherlands in Rotterdam
5/6 friendly against Latvia in Milton Keynes
(6/6 flight to South Africa from London)
13/6 Ghana - Serbia in Pretoria
19/6 Australia - Ghana in Rustenburg
23/6 Ghana - Germany in Johannesburg
Ghana will have a "travelling" training camp in France, the Netherlands and England. The players are to show up in Paris 24 May, but Rosenborg are hoping that Annan can play the league match against Viking the same day.
"There are conversations going on between Rosenborg and the Ghana Football Assocation. If they say I have to play before I leave, I certainly do that."
Anyways Annan and his Rosenborg team mates today will face another Rogaland club, Haugesund.
"I think it gonna be difficult. For each team playing against Rosenborg, it is a very crucial game for them: They work extra, extra hard. It will not be an easy game, and I think we have to work very hard. Playing Viking, Vålerenga and other big teams are often easier for us. So we have to be determined and focused. If we are, I think we gonna have a good result."
In what way has Rosenborg's play improved in the last matches?
"When we started, it wasn't so good. Now everything is getting in shape. We know eachother better. There are some new players, and we still are combining to work together. I think we are finding our rhythm now.
"But it's not over. You know, it's not easy for us because all the teams in the Tippeliga don't want Rosenborg to win the league again. It's a challenge for us to do our best."