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Page last updated at 11:51 GMT, Friday, 4 June 2010 12:51 UK

World Cup 2010: Stephen Appiah excited about World Cup

By Michael Oti Adjei
BBC Sport, Milton Keynes

Ghana captain Stephen Appiah
Appiah admits he is not guaranteed a place in the starting line-up

Ghana captain Stephen Appiah insists he is fit and ready for the 2010 World Cup even though he admits he is by no means a certainty for the starting line-up.

The Bologna midfielder has struggled at club level over the last two years but was still picked by Milovan Rajevac in the final squad of 23 players that will represent Ghana at the World Cup.

Appiah says he is excited about the opportunity to play in another World Cup and is confident he is fit for the rigours of it despite his recent injury history.

"I think that I don't have anything to demonstrate to anybody," Appiah told the BBC's African sports programme, Fast Track.

"I know myself, I have played a lot of games, played in the World Cup before and in the game against Holland I proved to people that I am okay.

"I am thinking about Ghanaians and not myself - I want to make Ghanaians happy."

Appiah played in all four of Ghana's games at the 2006 World Cup but knows there is no guarantee of that happening in South Africa.

"I am not going to go mad with the coach if he sits me on the bench," he said.

"I am showing the coach I am ready, everybody can see I am ready but it is the coach's decision and I am not going to complain if I do not get in."

And despite the absence of star midfielder Michael Essien, Appiah is in no doubt the Black Stars can hold their own against Serbia, Australia and Germany, their group opponents in South Africa.

"Players always want to play with the top-level players.

"We know that Michael was willing to play. He is a top player.

"The Ivorians have Drogba, Cameroon have Eto'o and in our team we have Michael Essien because he is a top class player. It is a big blow.

"We hope that whoever will replace him will give their best, will respect the jersey and play their hearts out.

"Every time we go to a competition people think we won't do well but we end up doing well. We sure will deliver."

Meanwhile Michael Essien has been expressing his disappointment at not making the World Cup.

"I did everything I could but eventually I succumbed to the injury and had to accept the fact that the body takes its own time to heal and you cannot rush things," he said.

"I have to admit no one was more disappointed than me but that's life and I have to move on.

Ghana open their 2010 World cup campaign against Serbia on 13 June.



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see also
Dutch outclass Ghana in friendly
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Kingston dropped from Ghana squad
30 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Michael Essien out of World Cup
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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