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BALL – Former UD Leiria and Beira-Mar striker: “Portugal cannot underestimate our capabilities” (Ghana)

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BALL - Former UD Leiria and Beira-Mar striker: "Portugal cannot underestimate our capabilities" (Ghana)

Maxwell Konadu is currently coaching the Legon Cities in Ghana after recently partnering with Serbian coach Milovan Ravejak. We are also talking about a former striker who was part of the brilliant 1992 Olympic generation who won bronze in Barcelona… He arrived in Portugal years later, starting an adventure in Leiria that lasted four seasons while still playing for Beira Mar and Marinhense. A respected figure in Ghana, Konadu even recently appealed to a sense of rapprochement among critics to make the team feel the full strength of the nation in Qatar. In a conversation with A BOLA, Konadu analyzed the clash that marks the entry of the Africans into the competition, namely against Portugal.

“We have a lot of faith in the talent we have in this country. The best example now is Fatavu, who left our league at the age of 18 immediately to Sporting. He is already in the roster and we still have two local players in the roster for the World Cup. In this context, there is a strong belief in the quality of our players, our youth, and this makes us think that we will succeed,” said the former Leiria striker, who played an important role in Leiria’s promotion to the League. in 97/98 with Victor Oliveira. Konadu does not appreciate Ghanaian identities, even if the names Partey, Kudus or Ayu are in the spotlight.

“It is not necessary to name names, not forgetting to underestimate those who spoke to me, but we have enough strength as a nation and as a collective. This Ghana team does not live by individuality, many people who come to Qatar work very hard in their clubs. Portugal are favourites, they have impressive qualities, but they can’t underestimate the ability of the Ghanaians,” says Konadu, acknowledging, yes, the high hopes that revolve around Inaki Williams, the Athletic Bilbao striker recently included in Otto Addo’s plans. “He is highly respected and everyone expects a lot from him at this World Cup,” explains this unconditional fan of the Portuguese national team.

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“I can only say that I love Portuguese football. They generate talent like few European countries. I am registered and visited several, I can play in many championships. Portugal is a name that is familiar to everyone, given its constant presence in the elite of world football. This goes back to the days of Eusebio, right up to today, with Cristiano Ronaldo. I think that thanks to the high level of the Portuguese team, the best version of the Ghana national team will appear,” Konadu adds.

“Ayu Paved the Way”

“I like everything about Portugal, from the climate to the style of play. The Portuguese players are mostly techies and this is a strong connection with the Africans. That’s why the African player loves to play in Portugal. I played there and even today I like to plan a vacation in the Algarve,” admits Konadu, still full of the football phase he lived in our country, raising a project full of Ghanaian fantasy in Leiria.

“Kwame Ayew paved the way for the Ghanaians in Portugal. He was great at clubs like Sporting CP and Boavista. In his time he was an unstoppable striker, and it was he who brought chances to others. I arrived, Lamptey, Augustine, Mark Edusey and Dua. And just look at what we all played in Leiria,” he says.
“We always met after the Sunday games and made a big delicacy of Ghanaian food. Great moments, we were always happy for Portugal,” admits Conado, who also showed the quality of the Portuguese player in the late nineties.

“It was already great. Those were the days of Rui Costa. From that time to the present, no one can deprive Portuguese football of its value. They always have good teams with an unconditional winning mentality,” confirms Konadu, going back to the time when Ghana had stars of the caliber of Abedi Pele or Yeboah, who are part of the first group of Africans revered in Europe.

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“This generation has nothing to do with today. They were morally much stronger than they are now, they sold African football to European football very positively. It was a special generation for any Ghanaian,” concludes the current coach of Legon Cities.

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BALL – “This is an important victory, and we are in the fight” (Boavista)

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BALL - "This is an important victory, and we are in the fight" (Boavista)

Petit analyzed Boavista’s 1-0 victory over Vilafrancense, looking to advance to the second round of Group F of the League Cup. In total, chess players have up to two triumphs in the same number of games in the competition.

“It was an honest victory for what we did. We could have scored more goals, it was a good game. We added to the match in the 30th minute. In the second half we were much better, this is completely our advantage. We could have scored one more goal. This is an important victory, and we are fighting, ”he began by saying that in flash interview.

Panthera won, but did not get rid of the panic towards the end of the match, when Nene from Vilafrancense appeared in the penalty area and almost hit his head: “We know Nene well, he is a free kick player. We have some defensive gaps, but we’ve been working on it. He won the ball, sometimes we can’t win all the balls. But the important thing is that we won another competition, and that inspires us.”

The coach spoke about the losses that he has in the team: “The absence of some is an opportunity for others. We have young and young players who have worked with us and already know what we want from the game.”

Boavista will take the field again on December 12, in the third round of the competition, against Vitoria de Guimarães: “There are fifteen days left until the next game. It’s a very big break, but it’s good for the players that there’s competition like this.”

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BALL – Draw in the big show between Spain and Germany (World Cup 2022)

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BALL - Draw in the big show between Spain and Germany (World Cup 2022)

Spain and Germany presented perhaps the best game in this World Cup. The Spaniards came into play with a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica in the first game of the tournament, while the Germans had to call on their admitted composure to overcome the pressure created by Japan’s surprise defeat in the first game. Just a new defeat greatly upset the Germans.

What is certain is that the ball began to roll, and it soon became clear that both teams must win. A lot of dedication, a lot of struggle, a lot of respect, and the result was a great football game, in which, however, goals were only scored in the second half. However, they could well come in the first half. For Spain, Dani Olmo came close to scoring (7′), but Neuer saved the shot and the ball went to the crossbar, and then Jordi Alba (22′) shot close to the post. The same goal was scored by Germany, through Rüdiger (40′), but the move was annulled, the German defender was out of the game.

The second half was still very contentious and in Morata’s case it would have been a new man who would have made the nets shake: in the 62nd minute Olmo crossed Jordi Alba from the left, he crossed close to the field and the striker signed a great right hand foot.

When losing, Germany never lost organization and eventually reached a draw, rightly so, in a move in which the one who also shone was the man who started on the bench, in the case of Fullkrug, in a move that started in Musial, under cooperation of Sane and the supply of striker Werder Bremen. Previously, by the 74th minute, Musiala and Fullkrag missed good opportunities.

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The game continued very interesting until the very end, but the result did not change. There were two great teams on the field.

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BALL – “I respect all the players in Portugal, but I prefer those in Uruguay” (Portugal)

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BALL - "I respect all the players in Portugal, but I prefer those in Uruguay" (Portugal)

Diego Alonso, coach of Uruguay, analyzed Monday’s match against Portugal with the second round of World Cup Group H in mind. A meeting of heightened importance for the South Americans, who drew with South Korea in the first game.

“We have already seen the balance that exists in this World Cup and what has happened with Argentina and Germany. [n.d.r. perderam com Arábia Saudita e Japão, respetivamente] and how difficult it was for Portugal to beat Ghana. We don’t underestimate the opposition or the result we showed against South Korea, but we are here to win games and keep the dream going,” he began with a warning before praising the Quinas teams:

“They have a very good team, with very good personalities, and an experienced coach who knew how to lead a team to titles. They have been playing together for a long time and that makes Portugal a dangerous team. But we also have our own arguments, which also make us a dangerous adversary.”

“Portugal have several options: they can play counterattack because they have speed or they can dominate because they have inside play. It’s a whole team,” he added.

When asked which element of the Portuguese team he would choose to play in “his” Uruguay, Diego Alonso answered bluntly: “With all due respect to the players from Portugal, I prefer everyone I have in Uruguay.”

The coach ruled out any advantage for Uruguay, Portugal’s “executioner” at the 2018 World Cup, stressing that “all games have a different story.”

On Uruguayans with Portuguese football experience – Darwin (ex-Benfica, starting XI against South Korea), Coates and Ugarta (athletes, unused substitutes): “They may have a deeper knowledge, but I don’t think that’s an advantage. We , of course, talked to them about any doubts, because we all help, but whoever is in the best conditions and in the best football moment will play.”

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