2023 AFCON: “Together we are stronger”

Ayew brothers

For thirteen years, the Ayew brothers have been alongside each other in the national team and will be participating in the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023. 

They are the pride of their family, the Ayews, heirs to their father Abedi Pelé, winner of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, the last one that the Black Stars won, in 1982. 

For the sixth time in their career, André and Jordan Ayew will together defend the colours of the black star; Ghana.

Arriving with great fanfare in Abidjan, the city where they will play their first matches of the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON Côte d’Ivoire 2023, the Ghanaians are settling in quietly.

André Ayew, the captain of the team, was the first to finish his lunch, he greeted us and then made a call to his brother, to let him know that the Cafonline.com team was ready to interview them. Jordan immediately arrived in the hall, with a wide smile. 

The two have a special admiration for the tournament. 

“We have to play it to understand our commitment, this trophy has something special”. 

Not even the series of disappointments these two faced in this tournament has deterred the unwavering ties that bind them to the largest sporting event on African soil. 

Their journey in the Africa Cup of Nations began in 2012, in Franceville, Gabon. André, the eldest, was already a senior member of the team. 

The native of Seclin had a string of good results with his team, bronze medalist at the 2008 AFCON in Ghana, U-20 world champion in 2009, and quarter-finalist of the 2010 World Cup. 

And now, he hopes to win the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON alongside his brother Jordan. 

“Of course when he arrived, it was my duty to take him under my wing as a team manager but also as a brother.

“I won’t say that playing with Jordan strengthened our relationship. We had always had a strong relationship since September 11, 1991 (they both laugh, editor’s note: Jordan Ayew’s date of birth).

The first attempt at conquest will end with an elimination in the semi-final against Zambia 1-0, eventual winner of the event. 

“It was a learning experience. It was my first step with Ghana at the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON. Even though I didn’t play a lot, I observed a lot and learned by observing. 

I was nourished in a certain way by this competition, whether with my father or with my brother, they constantly spoke to me about this tournament and its particularities, I absolutely wanted to participate in it to have my own experience.” 

In 2015, Ghana once again qualified for the high elite of football. Jordan has since become a mainstay in the team. 

“I arrived with full confidence for that AFCON in Equatorial Guinea. With André, we were revengeful because we had not taken part in the 2013 edition, we knew that we could do something big that year. 

“It is no coincidence that my greatest memory of the Africa Cup of Nations is linked to that year, the match against Equatorial Guinea, I scored the first and André added the third. 

“Both of us scoring in the same match, during a competition as prestigious as the AFCON, gave me the greatest emotion of my international career,” Jordan said. 

Andre, the Le Havre player added, “Together, we are stronger, we know each other very well”. 

The famous final lost to Ivory Coast during an endless penalty shootout, and the image of an inconsolable André Ayew in the arms of his little brother has lingered.

“We came so close. We wanted it so much, it came down to details.” says the elder Ayew. 

At 34, the Black Stars captain is preparing to play his eighth TotalEnergies CAF AFCON in a country that is dear to him. 

“My children have Ivorian blood flowing in their veins. I’m a bit in my second country. We will have support to get this title.”

Nothing is stronger than family among the Ayews.

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