For Mubarak Wakaso, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations will always be a tournament to remember as he aims for the Golden Boot award.
Ghana, after missing out of the final will have to go the tournament’s third and fourth play-off match on Saturday against Mali in Port Elizabeth.
Though, the contest will not attract the attention of many, the race to be the Nations Cup top goal-scorer could be decided by Wakaso, who is making his debut tournament.
Only four Ghanaian players – Ben Acheampong, Osei Kofi, Opoku Afriyie and George Alhassan – have finished the competition as top scorers.
With four goals and joint-top with Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike, who is a doubt for the final on Sunday,Wakaso could become the first Ghanaian player to win the award since George Alhassan won the last prize in 1982.
“It’s very important for me to get something for the nation. Not for myself [but] for the nation and my colleagues. We really need something to go back home with,” Wakaso said on Friday ahead of the third-place match.
“We can’t go like that. It means by getting the Golden Boot. I am expecting it and to get the third-place too is also very important.
“I am trying to get it [Golden Boot] because I am thinking about my colleagues and what we wanted to achieve but we couldn’t get it. I am trying to lift them up and they are also trying to help me to get it.”
However, Wakaso insists, he is not prioritising individual recognition ahead of team honours.
“We are going out just to motivate ourselves and our country. They were expecting us to bring the Cup home but we couldn’t reach where we wanted to be,” he said.
“But we still need to do something for them by winning the bronze for the nation.”