Ghana winger Joseph Paintsil has revealed that missing out on the Black Stars’ final squad for the 2022 World Cup motivated him to put in extra effort on the pitch which has yielded significant dividends.
The former Tema Youth player was one of Ghana’s most in-form forwards prior to the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar scoring six goals and five assists in 13 appearances which were more than any other Ghana attacker at the time. However, he was dropped by then head coach Otto Addo who explained that he had not seen more of the player to merit a callup.
Paintsil lost his father in the same week he failed to make the cut for the World Cup, worsening his woes.
He explained in an interview with 3FM that despite the difficulty he encountered during the period he was rather strengthened to give his best anytime he found himself on the pitch.
“It really motivated [missing out on the World Cup squad] me and I think the same week my father passed away. May his soul rest in peace. Normally if it were to be someone else it would have dimmed the spirit of the person but it rather strengthened me and I know my father would be happy,” he said.
“I still stood on my ground and fought very hard. Even though the World Cup selection was a little bit sad from the start, I just advised myself to concentrate on my football career and just concentrate on the club and just put in everything and it just started and everything was working good for me.
He however added that, despite the disappointment, he holds no qualms against any coach because he believes their decisions must be respected.
“I felt a little bit disappointed in the past but you never know, everybody has his decision as a coach and I do need to respect it and move on as a professional footballer with a great mindset and just do what I need to do on the field of play when I’m given the opportunity.”
Despite missing out on the Belgian Pro League, Paintsil reached a remarkable count of 18 goals to his name and 14 assists while being recognised as one of the best Africans playing in Belgium.He made a return to the Black Stars squad and provided the assist for Ghana’s equaliser in the match against Angola in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers (AFCON).
He will also be involved in Ghana’s next match against Madagascar as Chris Hughton eyes a slot for next year’s AFCON to be held in Ivory Coast.