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African All Stars

Asamoah Gyan: Former Sunderland ace reveals Suarez assault thoughts vs Liverpool

8:22 PM WAT 11/04/2022
ASAMOAH GYAN
The Ghanaian opens up on his encounter with the Uruguay star after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

Former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan has revealed he once considered physically assaulting then Liverpool attacker Luis Suarez as payback for Ghana’s 2010 World Cup heartbreak at a Premier League game.

The two men are remembered for their parts in unarguably one of the most memorable matches in World Cup history when Ghana met Uruguay in the quarter-final of the global showpiece in South Africa, the first World Cup to be hosted in Africa.

With the score at 1-1 in extra-time, Ghana almost scored a dramatic last-gasp winner but for Suarez, who handled a goal-bound Dominic Adiyiah header, conceding a red card and a penalty which Gyan struck against the woodwork before the South Americans went on to clinch a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory.

“I remember a game between Sunderland and Liverpool. We were playing at home on that day and all players were shaking hands. I wanted to hit him [Suarez] because people had said things that stuck in my mind,” Gyan, currently unattached, told Peace FM on Monday.

“I was naïve at that time but when I thought about it later, I realized that I had to let it go because I would have done the same thing if I was in his position.”

Had Suarez not handled or Gyan scored the resulting penalty, Ghana would likely have won the game to become the first African nation to reach the semi-final of the World Cup.

At the time of the World Cup, Suarez and Gyan were on the books of Ajax and Stade Rennes, respectively, before securing transfers to Liverpool and then Premier League side Sunderland.

In 2012, the Ghanaian went on to become captain of the Black Stars, leading the side to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final where they lost to Cote d’Ivoire on penalties, a shoot-out the striker watched from the sidelines.

“As captain [of the Black Stars], I’ll say it [my biggest regret] was in 2015 [Afcon] when I asked to be substituted against Ivory Coast in the final,” Gyan said.

“I feel like if I was not substituted, I could’ve helped in the penalty shoot-out. But due to some things that were going on, I felt I needed to give the chance to another player.

“This was because I had excused myself from taking penalties. But there were a lot of things going on which led to me asking to be substituted. So, I say that was one of my biggest regrets as a captain.”

Gyan is Ghana’s all-time top scorer and most capped player in history.