Ghanaian winger Joseph Paintsil has opened up about how being excluded from the final squad of the Black Stars for the 2022 World Cup served as motivation for him to perform even better on the field, resulting in significant success.
Before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Paintsil had been one of Ghana’s most impressive forwards, scoring six goals and providing five assists in 13 appearances, surpassing any other Ghanaian attacker at the time. However, then-head coach Otto Addo chose not to include him, citing a lack of sufficient exposure to the player.
During the same week that Paintsil missed out on the World Cup selection, he also experienced the loss of his father, compounding his challenges. In an interview with 3FM, Paintsil revealed that instead of being discouraged, these difficulties actually motivated him to give his best every time he stepped onto the pitch.
“It really motivated [missing out on the World Cup squad] me and I think the same week my father passed away. May his soul rest in peace. Normally if it were to be someone else it would have dimmed the spirit of the person but it rather strengthened me and I know my father would be happy,” he said.
“I still stood on my ground and fought very hard. Even though the World Cup selection was a little bit sad from the start, I just advised myself to concentrate on my football career and just concentrate on the club and just put in everything and it just started and everything was working good for me.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup squad, Paintsil expressed no resentment towards any coach, emphasizing the need to respect their decisions.
“I felt a little bit disappointed in the past but you never know, everybody has his decision as a coach and I do need to respect it and move on as a professional footballer with a great mindset and just do what I need to do on the field of play when I’m given the opportunity.”
Despite not participating in the Belgian Pro League, Paintsil had an impressive tally of 18 goals and 14 assists to his name, establishing himself as one of the top African players in Belgium.
He made a comeback to the Black Stars squad and provided an assist for Ghana’s equalizing goal in the match against Angola during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers (AFCON). Paintsil will also be involved in Ghana’s upcoming match against Madagascar as the team aims to secure a place in next year’s AFCON, to be held in Ivory Coast.