Ghana skipper André Ayew says the 2009 U-20 triumph was important for the country and that African teams must take youth tournaments seriously.
"Football for most African players is a way to survive. It's a way to make the whole family eat so these tournaments are very important not only for personal life to help a player become professional but to also prepare the future of the country's football," said Ayew.
Despite Ghana's lack of fixtures since Egypt 2019, Ayew said he was pleased to see other African countries moving in the right direction.
"What Algeria, Senegal and Nigeria are doing is showing all other countries that if you want to win, if you want to compete for a tournament, it doesn't come easy, it's hard work, it comes with a plan. They have shown an example. A few years ago, Ghana was the example."
His former team-mates from that triumphant 2009 success also shared his sentiments.
"While all the countries are having international friendlies, Ghana cannot produce even one friendly, it's very bad. Look at the brand of Black Stars. It's a very high-profile brand and I don't think it should have come to this way," said Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu who now plays his football with Verona in Italy.
David Addy, who now plays with Ilves in Finland, said when they won the tournament they did not really understand how big an achievement it was.
"Although it helped us to sign contracts with big clubs we didn't really feel like we did something great. We felt happy for winning it but now we feel this is big," said Addy.
Ghana remains the only African country to win the Under 20 World Cup.Read Full Story