John Mensah is widely regarded as one of the best central defenders in a Black Stars jersey, such a constant that he has had over ten-back partners in his 10-year career with the senior national soccer team.
In his long career with Black Stars, many central defenders have come and gone. some have proved to be very successful, while others have been a disaster, we list Mensah’s five best partners.
1. Isaac Vorsah
One of the best central defensive partnerships in Black Stars, these two complemented each other so well and were able to achieve great playing time together.
The Black Stars were truly invincible in defence and conceded the very few under coach Milovan Rajevac thanks to the presence of Isaac Vorsah and John Mensah.
The pair were solid at the heart of Ghana’s defence at the 2010 African Cup of Nations and 2010 World Cup respectively.
2. Shila Illiasu
One of the most solid partnerships Mensah has had at the Black Stars. The tough tackling defender moved to glamour club Asante Kotoko from city rivals King Faisal and won a place in Ghana’s squad for the 2006 World Cup, despite having never played for the national team, and was only one of just four domestic-based players.
Illiasu’s moment arrived after Kufour’s miscued back pass in the opening game against Italy saw Ghana crushing to a 2-0 defeat at the 2006 World Cup.
The ex-Bayern defender was dropped for Illiasu, who combined superbly with Mensah in Ghana’s next three games against Czech Republic, the USA and Brazil.
Their partnership worked again two years later at the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
3. Eric Addo
A forgotten partnership by many, mainly because Addo played as defensive midfielder, but in truth this partnership was very solid.
Addo was ian unsung hero who played like the John O’shea for Man and the Gerard Pique for Barcelona.
For those who have the technical eye, Eric was the organiser of the back line whiles John Mensah was the cleaner.
4. Samuel Osei Kuffour
Someone who Mensah has said he looked up to in the past, he played a couple of games with the Champions League winner and ended up suceeding him as Ghana’s number one defender in 2006.
5. Jonathan Mensah
Ghana’s current first choice central defender, not quite as good as John, but certainly good enough to make the top five. The Under-20 world cup winner only played few games with Mensah but is said to have been a massive influence for him coming through the ranks
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