‘Quality not enough’ to win AFCON- Ghana’s Thomas Partey

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Thomas Partey

Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey says Ghana will have to be united if they are to win the Africa Cup of Nations.

The 25-year-old midfielder was not even born when Ghana last won the competition in Libya 1982.

Since then they have been to three finals and this year in Egypt, they are in a group alongside holders Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, and Benin.

“To win a tournament like AFCON sometimes quality alone is not enough,” he told BBC Sport.

“We have to be able to sacrifice and go the extra mile and with that and a little bit of luck I am sure we will emerge victorious.”

“Unity and working for each other will be vital because we have got the quality of players already so we all have to on the same page.”

“This will be my second major tournament with the team so it’s hard to tell what has been wrong in the past but we need to be united.”

Ghana’s most recent final appearance was in 2015 as they lost on penalties to Ivory Coast.

Partey plays at the highest level with his Spanish club Atletico Madrid but there are concerns among fans that he does not replicate that form when he plays for the Black Stars.

“Obviously at club level, you train with the same players every day and this is Europe so the facilities and pitches are better,” he explains.

“But for me, it’s always the same – I like playing and everything I have earned is through this sport – so whether at club level or international level once I am on the pitch, I get in to give off my best.”

He has been a key man for Atletico coach Diego Simeone this season, playing 42 times in all competitions this season and helping them to finish as runners-up in La Liga behind Barcelona but ahead of local rivals Real Madrid.

Atletico also beat Real Madrid to win the European Super Cup last August.

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