Sports News of Tuesday, 1 January 2019
Nantes striker Majeed Waris says he is relieved his injury nightmare is behind him as he eyes an Africa Cup of Nations spot with Ghana.
The 27-year-old missed back-to-back tournaments in 2015 and 2017 but hopes his unbroken stretch of fitness in France can help get him into the Black Stars’ plans for the 2019 event.
“My dream of playing at the Nations Cup’s been on hold because I’ve been unfortunate with injuries in the past,” Waris told BBC Sport.
“It’s taken a lot out of me to truly understand my body and how to manage it after games.
“After playing at the World Cup, I’d love the opportunity to play for my country at such a big continental tournament.
“Now I play without any problems and hope it continues so I can get a chance to live this dream.”
His uninterrupted run of performances has led to 18 appearances and three goals for French Ligue 1 side Nantes this season.
But Waris is aware that he has an important few months ahead as he aims to secure a place in the Ghana Nations Cup squad.
“We have quality players in the national team and everyone will be fighting hard to earn a spot,” he added.
“There are six important months between now and the tournament, so the hard work starts when the season resumes in France.
“I have put the tough injury past behind me and I now play with so much positivity.”
Waris who has previously played in Sweden, Russia and Turkey, moved to France in August 2015.
Top scorer in Sweden in the 2012 season after scoring 23 goals for BK Hacken, he produced 33 goals in a combined 88 appearances for French clubs Valenciennes and Lorient, before moving to Portugal in 2017.
He only managed eight games for Portuguese giants FC Porto before returning to France with Nantes on a season-long loan in August.
Despite an international career blighted by injury, Waris has won 27 caps for Ghana and has four goals.