Matthew Amoah: Ghana's spearhead
Striker doesn't need invitation to exploit lazy defenders
Born: Oct. 24, 1980, in Tema, Ghana
Clubs played for: Dutch side Vitesse signed Matthew Amoah in 1998 and the Ghanaian striker spent seven years at the GelreDome, scoring 61 goals in nearly 180 games. The 29-year-old's success in the Netherlands piqued the interest of German giants Borussia Dortmund, but after moving to the Westfalenstadion, Amoah could not break into the first team over two seasons. NAC Breda brought Amoah back to the Eredivisie in 2007 and since then, the striker has scored nearly every other game (26 goals in 58 league games).
International career: Amoah played an important role in Ghana's run to the 2006 World Cup. In Germany, he played in all four of the Black Stars' matches. Leading up to South Africa, Amoah scored four of his country's nine goals in the all-important third round, including a pair of strikes against Sudan. In 31 games, Amoah has scored 12 times. Although he has battled injury over the last few years, Amoah looks ready to lead Ghana's attack again this summer.
Why is he so special? Amoah relies on speed to beat his marker, and he will stick to the last defender until the right moment when he can release and fly into open space.
His most famous moment: With Benin and Mali putting pressure on Ghana at the top of Group D, Amoah's two goals against Sudan gave the Black Stars a big win in their quest to qualify for the country's second-straight World Cup.
He said it: "When a player starts getting injuries like it happened to me, you only have to be mentally strong and take it in good [stride] that injury is part of the game. You have to take it as a minor upset in your career, stay focused, be positive and play your game.
Here's an interesting fact: If Ghana exits the World Cup early this summer, then Amoah will support the Netherlands: "It seems logical to me since I've lived here all these years; I feel connected to the country."