Emmanuel Gyasi: I never had a doubt about playing for Ghana
Italy-born Emmanuel Gyasi says representing Ghana has always been a childhood dream.
The Spezia Calcio forward was born in the Italian city of Palermo in 1994 but was then raised in Ghana by his grandparents and uncle until he was 11 when he returned to Italy.
“I went to Ghana as I was a small child and I lived there with my grandparents and my uncle,” he told BBC Sport Africa.
“It was a great experience for me, it allowed me to know my origins and the culture of my country. When I then moved back to Italy, I kept feeling Ghana was very close to me.
“Although I was born in Italy and I feel very comfortable here, my land of origin is Ghana. My bond with Ghana has never vanished or diminished throughout the years.
“Those are my origins. That is my motherland. It’s something indelible in my heart.”
Gyasi finally fulfilled that dream when he made his international debut in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to South Africa on March 25.
“My childhood dream has always been wearing the Ghana National team shirt.
“I wanted to become a football player and play for Ghana: I never had a doubt about it.
“In the past, I had two idols in our national team: Stephen Appiah and Asamoah Gyan. They were great, I used to love them and watch all of their games,” he stated.
The 27-year-old already has a new dream to chase.
Gyasi has his sights firmly set on being part of the squad at the Afcon finals in Cameroon next year and helping his country end a 40-year wait for success.
“Ghana are a strong national team, a good mix of interesting young prospects and more experienced players. The manager and his staff are very prepared too.
“Ghana have played several World Cups and Africa Cup of Nations: our dream and that of our fans is to win the trophy.
“We know it won’t be easy and we will have to think game by game, but we’ll go there to make our dreams come true. We have to believe in ourselves,” he noted.