Levante striker Emmanuel Boateng is a shoo-in for his Ghana debut next month, after his hat-trick on the weekend ended Barcelona’s 44-game unbeaten run in La Liga.
The forward was the star of the show for Levante in a shock 5-4 win on Sunday, scoring in the 9th, 30th, and 49th minutes as his side ended Barca’s hopes of going an entire domestic season undefeated.
Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah is hopeful that such sparkling form will carry through to the friendlies against Japan and Iceland in June, and was impressed by the striker’s Big Match Temperament.
“I watched the game and was impressed with a lot of things. He times his runs into the box well, he has good pace and he feeds well on crosses,” Appiah told KweséESPN.
“I am also impressed by the profile of matches he scores in. It says something positive about a player that in a game against high profile opposition he finds his best form.”
Boateng is now aiming to become a permanent fixture in the Ghana side after receiving his first call up for the two friendly games, which the opposition teams will be using as World Cup warm ups.
He told Accra-based radio station Hot FM: “When I look back at where I started from in Ghana and where I was playing, and against the players I was on the field with, I just couldn’t believe it. I am really, really happy today.”
The goals against Barcelona took his La Liga tally to six this season, with one of those coming against Real Madrid.
“We were playing against some of the biggest teams in the world with great players, but I view that as my platform too to make a point,” he added.
Boateng, a former junior international at U-17 and U20 level, will get the chance to impress Appiah at close range, having already been called up before his triple strike, thus justifying Appiah’s decision.
“When I got the call up I was really happy because I had wanted this. It is a dream come true,” Boateng said.
The 22-year-old will join a long list of players attempting to stake a claim to Asamoah Gyan’s place as the lead striker for the Black Stars, and Appiah is thrilled by that depth.
“From my perspective, what the emergence of players like this does is that it expands the pool available to the national team so it is always a good thing,” the coach said.
“We had been observing him [Boateng] for a while and that is why I sent my assistant Maxwell Konadu to meet him only recently.”