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Ghana news

Abedi Pele backs Ghana to reach final

July 1, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Ghana legend Abedi Pele has backed the Black Stars to beat Uruguay in Friday's World Cup quarter-final and ride the wave of continental support all the way to the final in Soccer City on July 11.

Abedi Pele
GettyImagesAbedi Pele is Ghana's all-time leading scorer with 33 goals

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Pele, widely considered to be one of the greatest ever African players, is Ghana's all-time leading scorer and has an added interest in the finals in South Africa as his sons Ibrahim Ayew and Andre Ayew are competing for Milovan Rajevac's side.

"I am happy Dede (Andre) has done well," Pele said. "What is interesting is that I am still strong to see him play in a World Cup.

"It's been difficult at times, because when he steps on to the pitch, you don't know whether he is going to do well or not. So you can imagine the emotions.

"We have been doing some coaching on the phone. I also encourage Ibrahim to be patient so that, when his time comes, nothing can stop him."

And three-time African Footballer of the Year Pele insists that the Ayew brothers and their team-mates are not only capable of beating Uruguay, but could become the most successful African side in World Cup history by making it to the final in Johannesburg.

"I am very happy that we qualified for the quarter-finals. It's a huge improvement given that we got knocked out in the second round in the last World Cup. The whole of South Africa and Africa is behind us and we have no choice but to go further.

"Football is not mathematics. We are strong and so are Uruguay. The game can go either way. This gives us the confidence that we can go further. I see Ghana going all the way to the final."

Pele admitted that while he has been delighted with the Black Stars progress, the failure of any other African sides to qualify from the group stages is a huge disappointment.

"I am very happy about Ghana. I was happy that we had six teams at the World Cup, but only one advanced to the next round," he said. "I am a bit disappointed by African teams."