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Ghana captain Andre Ayew speaks on handling leadership pressure at club and country

Sports News of Thursday, 24 December 2020

Source: Ghana Soccernet

Andre Dede Ayew is captain of Ghana’s Black Stars

Swansea City vice-captain Andre Ayew insists he has ‘always had pressure’ to lead and deliver since he was a kid.

Son of three times African player of the year Abedi Ayew, and captain of the Black Stars, Andre Ayew knows what it means to handle the pressures from expectations at club and country level.

Ayew led the Ghana U-20 team to it’s first-ever FIFA World Cup triumph and was captain of the senior national team at the Nations Cup in 2019.

He explains there is a huge difference in leading the national team and a club side.

“I’ve always had pressure, expectancy to deliver and lead – ever since I was a kid,” he told swanseacity.com.

“My dad was one of the best African footballers to have ever played, so the attention was then placed on me when I was growing up. I’ve always carried that pressure with me. I’ve had it all my career, so I am happy to take that role on here because it takes the focus and pressure off the young players and lets them thrive.

“I captained Ghana at under-20 level, I wore the band at Marseille a few times, and obviously now for Ghana’s senior team so I have good experience to pass on to the young guys in the team.

“I really enjoy it here in Swansea – on and off the pitch. It is far less stressful here!

“In Ghana it is very different. You have to understand that people just want to touch you, to have a photograph with you because it means everything to them that they have one of their own succeeding. Football is what we Ghanaians love, so it’s normal that hundreds of people surround you because you’re a footballer that’s doing well in Europe. They look up to you, because you’re their pride.

“When we put on that Black Stars shirt, you are not playing for yourself – you are playing for a whole nation because you have to give the younger generation something to dream about and inspire them. Maybe it’s a little difficult for people over here to understand, but Ghanaian and African players have a lot of responsibility to inspire kids in our countries.”

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