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‘Black Stars jersey is heavy, you need broad shoulders to wear it’ – Andre Ayew

Ghana captain Andre Ayew has stated that playing for the national team comes with a lot of pressure, insisting the Black Stars jersey is heavy to wear.

‘Black Stars jersey is heavy, you need broad shoulders to wear it’ – Andre Ayew

Ayew has been part of the national team for the better part of the last decade and a half after making his debut in 2007.

Now 33, the Le Havre forward has played in several international tournaments, including eight Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and three FIFA World Cups.

Ayew was, however, powerless to stop the Black Stars from exiting the last two AFCON tournaments at the group stage, with the country’s trophy drought now extending to 42 years.

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While some have called for Ayew and other ‘old’ players to be phased out for younger ones, the former Olympique Marseille star believes the high expectations of the national team sometimes weigh on the players.

He explained that the Black Stars jersey is heavy to wear, irrespective of one’s talent, adding that it takes players with broad shoulders to over the pressure.

"There is a lot of pressure. Despite this generation dominating, we still couldn't win. So this creates more pressure and more demands, and the country expects more and more," Ayew told Canal+, as quoted by CAF Online.

"Today, the players do not have the experience that the players I just mentioned have or had… The players start by getting used to it, by understanding what it means to wear this jersey, which means a lot to millions of people. The jersey is very heavy to wear and you need to have broad shoulders.

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"I know we will bounce back. We work. We are going through a bad time. But we will get through this, I am sure."

Meanwhile, Ayew has enjoyed a renaissance since joining Ligue 1 side Le Havre as a free agent in November. The 33-year-old is currently the highest-scoring Ghanaian in the French topflight this season with five goals.

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