Gyan out to end Ghana's trophy drought

    Gyan eyes Ghana success
    Gyan eyes Ghana success

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    Gyan eyes Ghana success 01:58

    Story highlights

    • Asamoah Gyan says pressure is on Ghana to win 2012 African Cup of Nations
    • The Black Stars have not won the competition since beating Libya in 1972
    • Gyan has defended his September move from Sunderland to Al-Ain
    • The 25-year-old wants to raise exposure of UAE side Al-Ain in Africa
    Striker Asamoah Gyan has told CNN the pressure will be on Ghana to win the African Cup of Nations (CAN) when the tournament gets underway in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in January.
    The Black Stars are four-time winners of the continent's biennial football tournament, but have not lifted the trophy since emerging victorious in Libya 29 years ago.
    With traditional African football giants such as seven-time CAN winners Egypt and Cameroon, champions on four occasions, failing to qualify for next year's competition, Gyan admits the pressure will be on Ghana to perform.
    "A team like Ghana, people are wondering why we don't win the African Cup of Nations and it's a big worry to our fans," the 25-year-old said.
    "You can see that there are many giants who are out of the competition. You're talking about Cameroon, you're talking about Nigeria (double CAN winners), Egypt as well. So now the pressure is going to be on us, because we did so well in the World Cup."
    Asamoah Gyan's ambition
    Asamoah Gyan's ambition

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    Last year's FIFA World Cup in South Africa saw Ghana reach the quarterfinals in only their second appearance in football's premier competition, eventually losing on penalties to Oscar Tabarez's Uruguay.
    Gyan, who is currently on a season-long loan at United Arab Emirates (UAE) team Al-Ain from English Premier League outfit Sunderland, warned against coach Goran Stevanovic's team becoming complacent during the tournament.
    "The other countries, we have to know that they are coming to win," he said. "That's what we have to watch out for, we can't be swollen headed.
    "We have to stick to our game plan. I think we have quality players who are capable of winning the CAN as well, so we have to see what is going to happen."
    Gyan surprised many when he chose to leave England to join Al-Ain in September, but the forward, who has also played for French club Rennes, explained how he hopes his transfer will boost the club's profile in Africa.
    "People move there at the end of their careers," he said. "Why do they move there? People might say because of money, because they want to finish their career there.
    "I moved there while I'm on top of my game. That means I'm going to play good football and I want to bring exposure there ... As an African, people look up to me.
    "There are a lot of people watching on the television. It's the big games like Manchester United playing Chelsea, but now even if United is playing, people don't watch it, they watch Sunderland.
    "So do you see the difference? When I moved to Sunderland, I brought more exposure to the league in Africa."
    Gyan's transfer to Al-Ain is temporary, with the one-time Udinese striker still contracted to Steve Bruce's Sunderland. The Accra native is unsure what the future holds and has not ruled out a move back to Europe or England.
    "I'm going to decide at the end of the season whether to move back to Europe or wherever I want to go. It depends on me the player, and my happiness.
    "Everyone wants to play in England. I really enjoyed myself last season and I had many fans. Everyone was happy with my performance and I really, really enjoyed myself."
    Ghana are top seeds in Group D of the African Cup of Nations, having been drawn alongside Mali, Guinea and tournament debutantes Botswana.