Kwesi Appiah: Beat The Best And We Are Off To Brazil

The headlines have focused on the threat posed by Egypt to Ghana's World Cup ambitions but for Kwesi Appiah, you need to beat the big sides to make it. After dispatching Zambia to reach the final African qualifying round for next year's World Cup, Ghana face another tough side with their meeting against the seven-time continental champions, Egypt, standing in their way of securing a place at the finals in Brazil. With a first leg game in Kumasi to come next month, Appiah has already got preparations underway. “I believe that if you want to go to the World Cup, you should be prepared to play any team that comes your way,” the Black Stars coach said. “And for that reason, whichever team or country, we will be prepared to play them.” Appiah is aware that his squad will need to drive Ghana's hopes of a third consecutive appearance at the World Cup. Between now and when he names his squad for the play-offs against the Pharaohs, he would be expecting his players to remain competitive at their Clubs. “We are praying that all our players get playing time with their various Clubs,” he said. And for Appiah, one player who remains central to his plans of guiding Ghana to Brazil is the Chelsea midfielder, Michael Essien. “Michael for me, is always been a good player. I have always had confidence in him. The good thing about him is his attitude, not only on the pitch but off the pitch is fantastic,” the Ghana coach said about the midfielder, who made a return to the national team this month following a three-year absence. “To have him in the team, when he decided to come back, I was one of the most happiest. As to his performance , I know he can do much than he did. He is an exceptional player and I have always said that Essien is a player every coach will love to have in his team.” Ghana will play Egypt in the first leg match on Tuesday 15th October, 2013 with the return fixed for November 19. The aggregate winner after the wo-leg ties goes to the finals in Brazil next year.