Football

2022 World Cup: ‘It was surreal’ – Semenyo thought it was a fake number when Ghana call came through

Goal.com

Antoine Semenyo has explained how he felt when he received the news that he was part of Otto Addo’s Ghana squad for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

  • Semenyo will play in World Cup for the first time
  • He was sceptical of the call from Ghana
  • Was selected due to hard work with Bristol

WHAT HAPPENED? The 22-year-old Semenyo, who features for EFL Championship side Bristol City, will be playing in the global event for the first time.

He is in the 26-man squad named by Addo for the competition in Qatar where the Black Stars have been pooled in Group H alongside Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea.

However, he admitted he wasn’t expecting a call from the Ghana FA and couldn’t believe it at first.

WHAT HE SAID: “I woke up early on the Monday and I got a call from a plus 233 number – that’s a Ghana number – and I wasn’t sure,” Semenyo told BBC Radio Bristol.

“I was a bit sceptical picking it up and it was the assistant coach saying I’ve been selected and it was all due to the hard work, so I’m happy.

“It felt so surreal, honestly, I couldn’t believe what he was saying. I even thought it was a fake number at one stage.

“But when he told me I was just so excited, rolling around in my bed so happy. That’s all the hard work that’s gone into it.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Semenyo’s season has seen him struggle with injuries but he has so far managed to score three league goals for Bristol from 16 matches and registered two assists.

He will have to fight for a starting role in Qatar alongside Abdul Fatawu Issahaku of Sporting CP, Kamaldeen Sulemana (Rennes), Osman Bukari (Red Star Belgrade), Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao) and Kamal Sowah (Club Brugge).

WHAT NEXT FOR SEMENYO? He will hope to start when the Black Stars take on Switzerland in a final warm-up fixture at Al Nahyan Stadium on Thursday.

Ghana will then open their World Cup campaign against Portugal at Stadium 974 (Rass Abou Aboud on November 24. They will face South Korea in matchday two at Education City Stadium on November 28 before playing their final group match against Uruguay at Al Wakrah Sports Club on December 2.

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