I moved to Valenciennes to remain competitive ahead of the World Cup - Ghana striker Majeed Waris
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Striker Abdul Majeed Waris admits his move to Valenciennes is influenced by his personal desire to play for Ghana at the 2014 World Cup.
The 22-year-old has joined the French Ligue 1 outfit on loan until the end of the season.
Waris arrives from Spartak Moscow who will not be playing until March 8 when the Russian top flight resumes after a long winter break.
The ex BK Hacken star is desperate to regain the form that made him best player and top goalscorer in the Swedish league in 2012.
The sharp attacker has struggled for regular game time since joining Spartak due to a bad knee injury suffered just before the start of the season.
But the Right to Dream Academy graduate wants to put all his troubles behind him as he embarks on another European adventure ostensibly to impress Ghana coach Akwasi Appiah into taking him to the World Cup in Brazil.
“It’s the right step that should help me stay in great shape,” Waris told the BBC.
“Being a World Cup year it’s very important to be playing regular football week in, week out.
“I thank Spartak for allowing me come somewhere I can get regular chances and impress the national team boss.
“And coming to France will be very competitive because I’ve come to a club with strong ambition to stay in the top-flight and improve their position.
“I want to play in my first World Cup with Ghana and to achieve that I know I have to keep playing and competing like others.
“You don’t just hope and pray to get anything in life, you have to work hard to give yourself a chance of making it.
“Hopefully, I can make the right contributions to the squad here and together we can lift Valenciennes.
“I just can’t wait to get started here.”
Waris came good for Ghana throughout the successful qualifying campaign where he has formed a harmonious partnership with lead striker Asamoah Gyan.
Their unique combination was a constant headache for opponents of the Black Stars with Egypt coach Bob Bradley admitting to the devastating threat after his team were humiliated 6-1 in the first leg of the playoffs.