2014 World Cup: Andre and Jordan Ayew are following in some very big footsteps
Following in the footsteps of a famous father is never an easy task, especially if your father happens to be a three-time African Footballer of the Year and a Champions League winner.
But that is exactly what Andre and Jordan Ayew are not only attempting – some would argue that they have already overtaken their father, whom most people knew as Abedi Pele, rather than Abedi Ayew.
Although both Andre, 24, and Jordan, 22, have not yet achieved the same success with their clubs or personally in terms of winning awards, they have done something which their father was denied: Playing at the World Cup finals for Ghana.
However, while Andre was a near-certainty to be selected into the squad, Jordan had to work very hard.
“I did my best and deserve to be in the 23-man squad. My performance at club level was what it should have been,” Jordan told Kick Socca.
But to come into contention, the younger of the two brothers needed to go on loan to Sochaux from Olympique Marseille at the beginning of the year.
“Being in the squad was one of my targets for the six month that I was with Sochaux,” added Jordan.
“The World Cup is a big stage and all the big players will be there, though it’s not all the big players that get that opportunity (like his father). So when you have the chance one has to take it because qualifying for the World Cup is not easy. You can never tell when you will qualify for the World Cup again.”
Brazil 2014 will be the third consecutive time that the Black Stars have appeared on football’s biggest footballing stage and each time they made it out of the group stages. In South Africa in 2010, they came agonizingly close to becoming the first African team to advance to the semi-finals.
This time around, the West Africans have been paired with Germany, Portugal and the USA in the so-called Group of Death, though Jordan is not too concerned.
“It always depends on the first match. After that (against the USA) we can figure out where we stand and what our goal should be. Our most important hurdle is the USA and after that the rest will come,” said Jordan.
For Andre, who plays his club football in France for Olympique Marseille, playing with his brother, is a terrific achievement.
“I think it is through hard work, not luck, that Jordan is in the final 23. He worked hard and scored important goals for his team,” said Andre.
“Previously, before any match, I had to advise Jordan, but now he is a professional player so he knows what is best for him. Now he gets a lot of playing time and is an important member in his club.
“What we share is the motto of not giving up in life and it is something we believe in as a family.”
Both Jordan and Andre are now hoping that their dream of going far at the World Cup together is something that they do not have to give up on after the group stages.