Derek Boateng who played as a defensive midfielder for the Ghana national team has called time on his international career, insisting it’s time to pave way for younger players.
The Ghana international says he has run his race with the Black Stars and thus has no ambition of returning to the senior national team as a player again. Instead, he wants to spend the rest of his time helping young players reach their full potential.
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The 34-year-old was handed his debut with the Black Stars in the mid-2000s after starring at youth level with Ghana’s U-20 side, the Black Satellites.
He played for the Ghana national football team at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina, in which Ghana progressed to the final.
After participating in a friendly with Ghana against French club Nice, Boateng was selected for the Ghana squad at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
He made his first FIFA World Cup appearance on 17 June 2006, when he replaced Otto Addo at half-time in the 2–0 win against the Czech Republic.
However series of injuries caused Boateng to be inactive at the team for a long while. He now says that since there are good young players around who can do better it is time for him to stand down.
The former youth star described his stint with the Black Stars as “the best thing ever”, adding that it was always an “honour” and a “blessing” to wear the national team jersey.
The 34-year-old had earlier this year hinted at his desire to retire from international football. However, when asked if he could make a return to the national team in an attempt to resurrect his club career, Boateng said his days with the Black Stars are irrevocably over.
Derek Boateng has also advised young players in the Ghana league and national teams to remain committed, dedicated and focus if they want to have a meaningful career.