Anthony Annan might only be 23 years old, but he holds the distinction of already having competed at two CAF Africa Cup of Nations finals. On both occasions, the hard-working midfielder started the tournament on the bench but finished in his country’s starting line-up. He won a bronze with the Black Stars on home soil in 2008 when they beat Côte d'Ivoire in the third-place play-off and went one better at the start of this year as Ghana surprised many with their progress all the way to the final of the tournament in Angola, only to lose to Egypt in the deciding game. Annan is already approaching 30 caps, having made his debut for Ghana more than three years ago when they played Brazil in a friendly in Stockholm in March 2007.
Now playing in Norway, Annan has been linked with several of the world’s top clubs and a solid showing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ finals in South Africa is likely to earn him a move to a leading league. He first came to prominence in the Ghanaian Premier League with Sekondi Hasaacas as a teenager, moving to Hearts of Oak in Accra in 2005. Two years later, he joined IK Start in Norway, but in his debut season, he was relegated with the team and did not see enough first team football to impress, struggling with adapting to the Scandinavian conditions, so vastly different from those of his home country. Start loaned him to Stabaek in 2008 where he suddenly burst into the limelight, earning a trial at Blackburn Rovers in England and suddenly turning up with perennial title challengers Rosenborg, who paid £1.2m for his signature. Although he left Stabaek before they went on to win the Norwegian league title, there was no doubting his contribution and he proved that again in 2009 as Rosenborg won the championship.