BBC News : Inaki Williams: Athletic Bilbao striker – Inaki Williams has set his sights on winning many more caps for Ghana following his debut on Saturday against Brazil.
The Athletic Bilbao striker won his Black Stars first cap when he came off the bench in the 3-0 friendly defeat to the five-time world champions in France.
Born in Bilbao to Ghanaian parents, the 28-year-old chose to represent Ghana after previously playing for Spain at youth level and in a 2016 friendly at senior level.
“It’s a very special feeling to play my first game with my new team-mates for my country,” Williams told BBC Sport Africa.
“I was very happy to come in and make some contributions, I cannot thank the staff and squad enough for all the help. The hard work continues for the World Cup and hopefully I am going to enjoy the opportunity.”
“I hope to play more matches and make the Black Stars successful.”
A dominant first half saw Brazil totally outclass Ghana in the French port city of Le Havre.
But the introduction of three debutants – Williams, Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey and Southampton’s Mohammed Salisu – brought stability to the team.
“I think the second half saw a better performance from us,” added Williams, whose debut came just two months ahead of the World Cup.
“It was not easy because it’s Brazil – a top football nation – but as Ghana we were stronger in the second half. I enjoyed myself on the pitch by helping my team.”
Williams, who has been on the books of Athletic Bilbao since 2013, has also been enjoying himself off the pitch with the Black Stars, who will meet Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay at the World Cup.
“I danced and sang on our initiation night,” explained a man whose sole Spain appearance came against Bosnia & Herzegovina on the eve of the 2016 European Championships.
“It was fun and I am enjoying everything because the players have been very warm, supportive and kind to me.”
Coach Otto Addo’s side next face Nicaragua on Tuesday as they build up to November’s finals in Qatar.
The former Borussia Dortmund player was quick to point out some positives in defeat as they look to integrate the new players and not change the dynamic in the dressing room.
“There is always a danger to introduce new players, especially if the players who were there before achieve something really good,” said Addo.
“There’s a group dynamic which I don’t want to break, but I think with what I saw they [the new players] were welcomed.
“They did well in the training and they got along with each other. It’s not like they were strangers because they knew each other from playing in the same league.
“I think the new guys also did well in the second half, but not only them, the whole team did well like against a top Fifa-ranked nation like Brazil.”
Addo earned plaudits after guiding Ghana to qualification for the global showpiece, but the team’s three friendly defeats in a row have been criticised by some fans.
“To bring in new players after we have a successful group that qualified for the World Cup was not going to be easy in integration,” he said, focusing on preparing his team for the tournament in Qatar.
“We had three days of full training together, I think they all did well and we want to maintain that unity.”
Via : bbc.com