Daniel Opare pushing for Black Stars return

Defender, Daniel Opare, could be in line for Black Stars return after impressing hugely for Augsburg over the weekend in the German Bundesliga.

Opare, who spent an unsuccessful loan spell at French second tier side, RC Lens, last season, was heavily tipped with a move away from the club in the summer transfer window.

But the former Real Madrid youth team defender was retained by head coach, Manuel Baum, as a cover for regular right back, Raphael Framberg.

After warming the bench in the Fuggerstadter opening two games in the Bundesliga, the marauding right-back was handed an opportunity in the game against FC Cologne in front of their boisterous fans, which he admirably passed with flying colours.

Unsurprisingly, Opare found his name in the DFB Bundesliga team of week with a 75 rating.

The 26-year-old could be a major asset for Black Stars coach, Kwasi Appiah, in their subsequent FIFA World Cup and AFCON qualifiers after it became evidently clear that the team lacks greatly in that position whenever Harrison Afful is unavailable, as it happened in the first encounter against Congo at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

Opare last played for Ghana at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where he started at right-back in the 2-1 defeat against Brazil.

Daniel Opare embracing Cristiano Ronaldo at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Early Career

In November 2007, Opare was recognised by World Soccer Magazine as one of the 50 Most Exciting Teenagers on the Planet.  He received rave reviews for using his incredible foot speed and precision crossing to great effect for Ghana’s national U-17 team (Black Starlets) at the 2007 U-17 World Cup.

On 3 July, 2010 Opare left Real Madrid Castilla to sign for Belgian club, Standard Liège, and it was negotiated by his agents—NVA Entertainment Group.

On 20 May, 2014 just before the World Cup 2014, it was announced that Opare had signed for former Champions League winners, F.C. Porto, after a successful four-year stint at Standard Liege.

Augsburg

On 13 August, 2015 Opare signed a three-year contract with German club, Augsburg, for an undisclosed fee.

 

Youth

 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup

A converted midfielder and skillful lateral defender, Opare initiated The Black Starlets attacking moves with surging runs and was responsible for supplying the forwards—Ransford Osei and Sadick Adams—with precise crosses from wide areas.

At the back he looks equally comfortable and composed.  He assisted on many of Ghana’s goals at the 2007 African Under-17 Championship in Togo in March 2007 as well as the U-17 World Cup where he was a standout in all seven games he played.

Daniel Opare and colleagues celebrating the U-20 FIFA World Cup victory in 2009

2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup

In September 2009, Opare was included in the Ghana national Under-20 team (Black Satellites) for the 2009 U-20 World Cup in Egypt, in which Opare helped the Ghana team win for the first time by defeating Brazil national Under-20 team in the finals at the Cairo International Stadium on 16 October, 2009.

Daniel Opare hanging out with his family

 

Senior

On 13 November, 2007, three weeks after his 17th birthday, he received his first senior international call-up from Ghana’s coach, Claude Le Roy, for a FIFA international friendly match against Togo at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, Ghana, on 18 November, 2007 after another excellent display, assisting twice on a superb hat-trick by Ransford Osei against Togo’s U-17 team in a junior international friendly at the same venue on Sunday, 11 November, 2007.

2008 African Cup of Nations

The U-17 World Cup star was part of Ghana’s squad for the 2008 African Cup of Nations.  However, on 10 January, 2008 Ghana’s team Doctor, Martin Engmann, told the media that the youngster had not recovered from an ankle injury he sustained in the pre-tournament training camp at the Jebel Ali Hotel Resort and Spa in Dubai and was excluded from the squad together with injured teammates—Matthew Amoah and captain, Stephen Appiah.

2012 African Cup of Nations

In December 2011, Opare was selected into the Ghana national team’s provisional 25-man squad for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, and in January 2012, he was selected for the tournament’s 23-man squad.

Opare was never given an opportunity by the then coach of Ghana, Goran Stevanović, to feature in any of the 6 games that Ghana’s national team played at the 2012 African Cup of Nations.

 

Daniel Opare in a shopping spree with dancehall artist, Shatta Wale

2014 FIFA World Cup

On 2 June, 2014 Opare was named in Ghana’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  In the team’s opening match, he started at right-back for the Black Stars against the United States in a 2–1 defeat. However, he did not appear in their other 2 matches as Ghana failed to advance past the group stage.

 

By Gottlieb Baako

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