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Michael Essien's December Blog...   
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I started writing this blog on the plane back from Egypt where Ghana finished the job off to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next year.

The aggregate score was 7 – 3 and I have to admit scoring 6 – 1 in the first leg was the best thing we ever did because playing the second leg in Egypt was always going to be difficult. They made it difficult for us but we are through and that’s all that matters.

Now we have qualified my thoughts have switched to the countries that will be in our group for the first stages of the tournament. The more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me that we could face some of our old foes and it will definitely by an interesting draw.

I have picked out three teams that I think all Ghanaians will love to face for different reasons and I am sure most people will agree with me.

England has to be one of the teams that Ghanaians will love to face because of the popularity of the Premier league in Ghana and the familiarity of the English players. A lot of Ghanaians watch the Barclays Premier League every week and they all have their team they support in the Premier League. As such they know the players well and will love to see them in real life for the national team. The English players are household names in Ghana and how fitting will it be if we draw them in our group? When Ghana drew with England a few years ago at Wembley, it was a big deal and you get the feeling they will love us to face England again and beat them this time at the World Cup.

Uruguay you feel will be second country on every Ghanaian’s list of teams the Ghana Black Stars have to face and defeat because it will all be about ‘football revenge’ for the way we went out of the 2010 World Cup. Luis Suarez’s handball to deny Ghana a place at the semi final three and half years ago is still talked about today in Ghana and every Ghanaian will love to have the opportunity to right the ‘wrong’ of the 2010 World Cup. Uruguay are a strong team and it will be a cracking game from a player’s point of view but from the fan’s perspective it will be payback time.

Brazil, because in Ghana we pride ourselves on the fact that the we are the ‘the Brazil of Africa’ and what a carnival it will be to face the hosts. Their fans love to party at football games and so do we so we will love to face them. I personally will also like to face them because we lost to them at the 2006 World Cup and I was suspended for that game so I will love the chance to face them so in future I can also say I played against Brazil and hopefully add that we beat them.

Who knows what the draw will throw up and who Ghana will face but whatever happens and whoever we draw, we will be going to Brazil to have a good time and to improve on our last quarter-final appearance.

Merry Christmas to you and have a good one!

Source: Ess

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