Former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan has admitted his extra-time penalty miss for Ghana against Uruguay in their 2010 World Cup quarter-final will haunt him for the rest of his life.
The Black Stars reached the last-eight stage in South Africa in what was just their second World Cup campaign.
And Ghana were on the verge of becoming the first African team to reach a World Cup semi-final when they were awarded a penalty in added time of the second period of extra-time after Luis Suarez had used his hand to prevent Dominic Adiyiah’s header from finding the net.
Asamoah Gyan has admitted the penalty miss for Ghana against Uruguay still haunts him
Ghana were given the chance when Luis Suarez handled in added time of extra time in 2010
The Uruguayan was given a straight red card but Gyan wasted the consequent penalty after smashing it onto the bar before the ball looped over, and he admitted he cried all night after the miss.
‘Till today, any time alone, it still haunts me,’ the 34-year old told TV3 Ghana.
‘Sometimes I feel like the world should go back again so I can redeem myself, but I know this is something that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
‘I accept that because there is nothing I can do about it. I went there to save my country, but I ended up being the villain, which I accept because I know how people feel.
But Gyan wasted the chance for Ghana to be the first African side to qualify for the semi-finals
‘It was a disaster. It was crazy. I was also calm because I couldn’t sleep the whole night because I was crying the whole night until morning so I was somehow calm because I couldn’t cry anymore.
‘All I was telling myself was to get another chance because I knew I could redeem myself even if not football, something else. But even if I don’t, my kids will do it one day.’
Gyan’s latest competition action with his country saw him used twice as a substitute in last year’s Africa Cup of Nations, where they crashed out to Tunisia on penalties in the Round of 16.
Suarez was sent off but celebrated after his side won the World Cup quarter-final on penalties
The 34-year-old was not due to play after announcing his retirement just before the tournament, but was persuaded to reverse his decision following talks with Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo.
And Gyan, who is Ghana’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals in 109 caps, insists retirement has taken a back seat in his bid to try and secure national team honours, which is yet to happen in his 17-year international career.
‘It looks like people want to retire me, but I’m not done yet,’ the former Sunderland forward continued.
Gyan has not played a competition for Ghana since last year’s Africa Cup of Nations
‘I had a couple of injuries, but I’m getting back to full fitness. I’m now okay and feel good in my body. I have added a bit of weight that I have to work on and get back to shape.
‘Not winning a trophy with the Black Stars bothers me. Since 2003, I’ve gotten a bronze medal and silver; I want the gold, which I don’t have. So that is what bothers me until now and that is what I want to achieve.
‘For me, what will make somebody quit football is dedication, but it is still there so I feel I have a lot to prove and do on the field; when I see certain things, I feel like I can still do it.
‘A lot of people have tried, but I always say to myself I will call it a day on my own terms: nobody can retire me.’
But the country’s top scorer insists he wants to claim national honours before he retires