Only a few can boast of a better national team CV than Asamoah Gyan. Currently 34 years, Gyan has led Ghana to three World Cups and two Africa Cup of Nations finals.
On an individual level, the former Udinese striker has engrained his name in Ghana’s football history. 51 goals in a record 109 appearances for the Black Stars sees him as the nation’s all-time top scorer.
On the global stage, Gyan is recognised as Africa’s top goalscorer in the history of the World Cup with six goals.
Gyan will be forever remembered for his goals, but how did he manage to score 51 goals for Ghana in 14 years?
On 19th November 2003, Gyan scored on his national team debut against Somalia in the 90th minute of a World Cup qualifier.
The 17-year-old striker who would turn 18 three days later came on for Isaac Boakye in the 62nd minute, helping Ghana to win that game, and making him the youngest ever player to score for the Black Stars
At that point, few would have thought that Kwasi Owusu’s record of 36 goals for Ghana would be under jeopardy.
Though, Gyan would have most likely had one eye on it.
By 2014, Gyan had broken Owusu’s record and will further go on to reach half a century of goals in the process.
It took almost 14 years for @ASAMOAH_GYAN3 to become Ghana's all-time topscorer. In case you're wondering how he climbed up, here's a 60 second video summary.— Owuraku Ampofo (@_owurakuampofo) May 1, 2020
RT and Likes appreciated 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/gTHOUPnSUA
THE DEFINING MOMENT
Averaging almost 0.5 goals per game for a national team is a herculean task, but that has been the case for Gyan.
His rise was prominent and 2013 will be remembered as one of his most prolific years. A year in which he made giant steps towards becoming Ghana’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Under the leadership of coach Kwesi Appiah, Gyan scored 11 goals in just 15 appearances for the Black Stars in 2013.
Gyan, then playing for Al Ain netted 40 times for both club and country to finish the year as the sixth-highest scorer.
That season, he won the golden boot in the UAE Pro League, also won the golden boot for the entire Arabian region and finished sixth in terms of the most prolific strikers in the world in 2013.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo (69), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (47), Lionel Messi (45), Luis Suarez (42) and Edinson Cavani (41) scored more goals than the Ghana striker that year.
HIS FAVOURITE COMPETITION?
Despite being the highest African scorer at the World Cup, Gyan has scored most of his goals in friendly matches.
41.2% of his 51 goals for Ghana have come in friendly games with his next favourite being World Cup and Afcon qualifiers which makes up 31.3% of his goals.
Until the 2019 AFCON, Gyan was Ghana’s leading scorer at the continental showpiece with eight (8) goals, however, Andre Ayew now holds that feat with nine (9) goals.
HIS FAVOURITE OPPONENT?
Gyan has always been a big-game player for the Black Stars, stepping up when it matters most.
In his 109 appearances, the striker has faced 34 different countries.
The most goals he has scored against a single country is five in four appearances against South Korea.
Sudan follows closely with Gyan scoring four goals against the East African side.
Heavyweight countries that the former Sunderland striker has scored against include Germany, Portugal, England and USA.