Ghana fans have spoken: Opare should return

Soccer News of Saturday, 7 March 2015


Defender Daniel Opare

Earlier this week, the Goal team asked our readers whether Besiktas defender Daniel Opare should return to the Ghana national team.

You voted in your droves and the results are in.

73 percent of Goal readers want Opare back in the national side following his recent fine form for Besiktas, leaving only 27 percent of votes who do not yet feel the on-loan FC Porto man deserves a recall.

The right-back has struggled to become a first-team regular with the Black Stars and was recently overlooked for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

As a member of the feted 2009 African Youth Championship-winning generation, he made his senior debut as early as 2007—when called-up by Claude Le Roy—and was named in both the 2014 Afcon squad and the World Cup squad last year.

However, despite featuring in six of the Black Stars’ last seven matches ahead of the tournament, he featured only once in Brazil, starting the first game against the USA before being dropped for the rest of the tournament.

He hasn’t featured since, being ignored by Kwesi Appiah, Maxwell Konadu and Avram Grant, in part due to injury.

The Accra-born star began his senior career at Ashanti Gold, before moving to Tunisian side CS Sfaxien in 2007. After a year in Sfax he was recruited by Real Madrid for their B team, but after failing to make an impression on the first team he switched to Standard Liege in 2010.

Here, Opare rediscovered his form and steadily improved his game, delivering consistent performances before being acquired by Porto last summer.

His six months in Portugal were characterised by inactivity and he left in January, moving to Besiktas on loan. Since arriving in Istanbul he has wasted little time in making a glowing first impression.

Opare starred against Liverpool in the Europa League and also found the net against Balikesirspor in the Super Lig.

Clearly the 24-year-old is enjoying life in Turkey and is proving himself to be a versatile asset for the Black Eagles, featuring in an unfamiliar left-back role rather than his typical position on the right.

According to Goal readers, his recent showings have been enough to merit a return to senior international action.