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The Ball - Former UD Leiria and Beira-Mar striker: “Portugal cannot underestimate our abilities” (Ghana)

The Ball – Former UD Leiria and Beira-Mar striker: “Portugal cannot underestimate our abilities” (Ghana)

Maxwell Konado is currently coaching the Legon Cities team in Ghana, having recently been in collaboration with Serbian coach Milovan Rafijak. We also talk about a former striker, who was part of the illustrious Olympic generation of 1992, who won the bronze for Barcelona… Arrived in Portugal years later, he started in Leiria an adventure that lasted four seasons, and he still plays for Beira-Mar and Marinenes. A revered figure in Ghana, Konadu recently appealed to a sense of affinity among pundits for the team to feel the full power of the nation in Qatar. In a conversation with A BOLA, Konadu analyzed the encounter that marks the entry of Africans into the competition, specifically against Portugal.

“We believe a lot in the talent we have in this country. A good example now is Fattau, who left the league at the age of 18 directly to Sporting. He is already in the squad and we still have two other homegrown players in the squad for the World Cup. Within this context, there is a strong belief With the quality of our players and our youth, this makes us believe that we will succeed, ”confirmed the former Leiria striker, who is an important part in the promotion of Leiria to the league in 97/98 with Vitor Oliveira. Konado does not value Ghanaian individuals, even if the focus is on the names of Partey, Kodos or Ayew.

“It is not necessary to mention names, without forgetting to underestimate those who spoke to me, but we have sufficient strength as a nation and as a group. This Ghanaian team does not live on an individual basis, there are many people who have arrived in Qatar working hard in their clubs. Portugal are the favourites, and they have great quality, but they cannot underestimate the Ghanaians’ ability, ”according to Konado, acknowledging, yes, the strong hope that hangs around Inaki Williams, the Athletic Bilbao striker, who was recently included in Otto Ado’s plans. “He is highly respected and everyone expects a lot from him at this World Cup,” explains this unquestioning fan of the Portugal national team.

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“I can only say that I love Portuguese football. They breed talent as few European countries do. I’m documented and have visited many times, I know how to play in many tournaments. Portugal was a name that seemed familiar to everyone, given its constant presence in elite football.” World football. This goes back to the time of Eusebio, even today, with Cristiano Ronaldo. I believe that the great level of the Portuguese national team will make the emergence of the best version of the Ghanaian team, ”adds Konado.

“Ayyu paved the way”

“I like everything about Portugal, from the climate to the style of play. Portuguese players are mostly technicians and this is a strong bond with the Africans. This is why the African player loves to play in Portugal. I played there and even today I like to plan holidays in the Algarve », admitted Konado, still full of the football stage he experienced in our country, choosing in Leiria a project full of Ghanaian fantasy.

“Kwame Ayo paved the way for the Ghanaians in Portugal. He was great at clubs like Sporting and Boavista. He was an unstoppable striker in his era, one who brought opportunities to others. Lamptey, Augustine, Mark Edussy and Dua and I arrived. And we just see that we all played in Leiria, ”he says.
“We always got together after Sunday matches and made a big Ghanaian delicacy. Great moments, we were always happy with Portugal, ”admits Konado, who was also impressed by the quality of the Portuguese player at the end of the nineties.

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“It was really amazing. Those were the days of Rui Costa. From that time until today, no one can take value from Portuguese football. They always have good teams with an unmistakable winning mentality,” Konado asserts, going back to a time when Ghana had stars of the caliber of Abedi Pele or Yeboah, who were part of the first batch of esteemed Africans in Europe.

“This generation has nothing to do with today. They were stronger mentally than they are now, they sold African football to European football in a very positive way. It was a very special generation for any Ghanaian,” concludes the current Legon City coach.