News Matches
African All Stars

Inaki credits Athletic Bilbao for Ghana World Cup call following inclusion in final squad

6:10 PM GMT 14/11/2022
Inaki Williams
Inaki Williams has lauded Athletic Bilbao for moulding him into a top player who is now set to play at the World Cup with Ghana.
  • Inaki thankful to the Basque club for shaping him
  • Athletic forward selected in Ghana’s 26-man squad
  • 28-year-old hopes to represent his club well in Qatar

WHAT HAPPENED? Williams was among the 26 players selected by Ghana coach Otto Addo in his final World Cup squad on Monday and the Basque-born forward believes it would not have been possible had Athletic Bilbao not provided a conducive environment for him to thrive in.

WHAT DID INAKI SAY? “It’s an honour, I’m looking forward to the day of my debut,” he told the club’s inhouse channel.

“Athletic has given me everything. I will always be grateful to what they have done to give me this opportunity. To the coaching staff, employees and all my teammates, I can play in a World Cup thanks to them.”

“What a better way to represent Athletic than playing in a World Cup with the Ghana national team.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Williams is set for his World Cup bow as he is likely to be preferred upfront by Addo as the Black Stars plot a route out of their group that has Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay.

The 28-year-old was among a number of foreign-born stars who switched allegiance to Ghana in July following several overtures by the Ghana Football Association ahead of the global tournament in Qatar.

He made his Black Stars debut against Brazil in a friendly match in September before starting against Nicaragua a few days later.

That match might have given Addo an idea of how to use Inaki, who caused their opponents problems with his directness and pace, while his link-up play with Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus also impressed.

Born in Bilbao to Ghanaian parents, Inaki, who made one senior appearance for Spain, has been at Athletic since December 2014, making 355 appearances in all competitions while scoring 78 goals, including five in 15 this season.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR INAKI? The forward is set to join the national team for their World Cup preparations that include a friendly match against Switzerland on Thursday.