Previous Ghana Black stars player Derek Boateng picks playing at the 2006 World Cup as the most noteworthy snapshot of his life.
The 37 years of age Derek Boateng was among a group touted as the West Africans’ brilliant age which qualified the country for its first-since forever appearance at the World Cup and played at the last competition.
Despite all struggles, Ghana advanced from a troublesome group including Italy, USA and the Czech Republic to the Round of 16 where they bowed out to protecting heroes Brazil.
The former Getafe and Fulham player in a recent interview stated that: “Playing at the World Cup in 2010 and reaching the quarter-final is among my highest moments.”
“The first tournament in Germany would be more special because that was our first World Cup. It was crazy and we really loved it. We were in the group with the Czech Republic, the USA and Italy.”
“When the US coach [Bruce Arena] was interviewed, he said he had only two games to play [in the group stage] – against Czech and Italy. He said he did not care about us [Ghana] because for us he knew he was going to pick the three points against us. After we won the game, we felt so good.”
He further stated that: “When I started playing football, my ambition was to play for Ghana and defend my nation anywhere in the world. It was such an honour being in front of Ghanaians and fans, singing the national anthem and playing. It was more than anything and I’m so happy about that.”
“I also wanted to play in Europe as a professional player, play in the Champions League and meet all the best players in the world. [I fulfilled these and] that’s something I really cherish in my life.”
“But the most of all was playing for Ghana – that was the highest moment. It was good playing in Europe and all that but playing for your national side was something special.”
“I played about 46 games for the Black Stars and I don’t know which one to choose as the most special. All games were special for me.”
“In Europe, they paid us a lot of money. With the national team, you don’t receive that kind of money like you do at your club side but the joy in it is unbelievable.”