Ghana legend Asamoah Gyan has explained he prefers to put in the hard work on the pitch as he responded to claims of being lazy in training.
Two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner Herve Renard recently labelled the striker a ‘lazy player’, particularly during practice sessions, which is the reason why the 34-year-old has failed to reach his full potential.
Gyan, however, thinks differently.
“I am not lazy,” the frontman, last on the books of Indian Super League side NorthEast United, said as reported by footy-Ghana.
“I put in 70 per cent hard work and practise the basics needed at training. And, then, I give everything I have in games.
“I work hard in games; the final output is what matters, and not during training. Consistency is what matters.”
Renard worked with Gyan in 2008 when the Frenchman joined Ghana’s technical team under Claude Le Roy for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The striker ended the tournament with one goal – a penalty – as the Black Stars finished third on home soil.
Renard has since moved on from being a member of the support staff to winning the Africa Cup of Nations as head coach with Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire, in 2012 and 2015, respectively.
“The quality of Asamoah Gyan was amazing. I was always impressed with his timing of headers. He was a very good goalscorer, fantastic player, amazing player,” Renard recently told Juliet Bawuah in a live chat on Twitter.
“But I have something to tell him. He was supposed to have a better career but he was lazy.
“In training, he was lazy. He only likes the games. But he was the most important player but I know him and he didn’t like the training, he only likes the competition, the games.”
Gyan is Ghana’s all-time top scorer and most capped player, having scored 51 goals in 106 appearances.
He is also the highest-scoring African at the World Cup with six strikes to his name. In 2010, he was named BBC African Footballer of the Year.
At Afcon, the forward is the second-highest scoring Ghanaian at the tournament with eight goals.
At club level, Gyan began his career with local side Liberty Professional before moving to Italian fold Udinese in 2003.
After a loan stint at Modena, the Accra-born joined French fold Rennes, from where he joined English side Sunderland in 2010.
Ten league goals in his first season of English football earned him a financially lucrative loan move to Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.
The switch was later made permanent, his stay ending with three goal-king titles in the UAE Pro-League, a top scorer’s prize in the AFC Champions League and an honour as the 2014 AFC Foreign Player of the Year.
In 2015, Gyan was on the move again, this time joining Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG, who loaned him to Arabian side Al Ahli Dubai in 2016-2017 before permanently letting go of him to Turkish team Kayserispor.
He joined his Indian side on a one-year deal last year after parting ways with Kayserispor, but was ruled out for the duration of the campaign after some stellar performances for the club in the first half of the season.