RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 26: Maurice Edu of the United States challenges Kwadwo Asamoah of Ghana during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between USA and Ghana at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 26, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Kwadwo Asamoah has flown under the radar at Udinese, but he's emerged as one of Serie A's top midfielders and intends to show why at the Africa Cup of Nations
Serie A hasn't exactly been the favorite league of most people around the world lately. With the exception of the fascination with Jose Mourinho and his stop in Italy with Inter Milan, Serie A has been largely ignored by a big chunk of the football-watching public in favor of the Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga. And if Serie A is relatively under the radar ,that leaves Udinese very much under the radar and their star midfielder, Kwadwo Asamoah, out of the minds of many, which is a damn shame because he's emerged as one of the better midfielders around.
Just because many around the world don't realize how good Asamoah is for Udinese doesn't mean that Ghanians don't realize his importance to the national team. He's a key cog in Ghana's midfield, teaming with Sulley Muntari and either Derek Boateng or Anthony Annan to handle the middle of the pitch without their front three having to worry too much about tracking back and of the three. Of the three in the midfield, Asamoah is tasked with being the primary creator and what a creator he is.
There aren't many players as adept in tight spaces as Asamoah. His ability to keep the ball close when dribbling and seemingly hit full speed on the turn are almost unmatched. His feints on the ball have become somewhat of his signature and they are deadly, creating just the amount of space he needs to get past a defender or open up the play with a pass. While capable of tackling, Asamoah has two midfield mates who can do the same. What he offers that no one else on his team does as well is create chances provide service to the front three. It's what makes him one of Ghana's stars and one of the top players in Africa.
With just one goal for Ghana and three for Udinese, it's unlikely that Asamoah will pop up on the score sheet, but that doesn't mean he won't be vital to the Ghana attack. Many of Ghana's forays forward will start with the ball at Asamoah's feet. Playing that role for a team expected to be in the final is nothing to sneeze at and he's more than capable of shining in that role, whether people know who he is or not.
National Team: Ghana
Club Team: Udinese