The push for a FIFA World Cup™ place for Rahim Ayew was given much momentum by his performances at the 2010 CAF Africa Cup of Nations finals in January. The son of former African Footballer of the Year Abedi Pele, Ayew emerged as a energetic defensive player during the tournament in Angola, where Ghana were unexpected runners-up. The 22-year-old began his career at his father’s team Nania FC but when they were relegated from the Ghanaian Premier League moved to Sekondi Eleven Wise. In July last year, he signed a five year deal with Zamalek of Egypt, having previously had unsuccessful trials in Germany at Bundesliga side TSG Hoffenheim. It has taken a while for his career to take off in Egypt, but Zamalek’s revival has come at the same time as more regular football for Ayew.
Ayew had attracted attention after his solid showing for Ghana’s home-based national team in the African Nations Championship, the new tournament for teams made up only of locally-based players. Ghana reached the final but were beaten by the Democratic Republic of Congo in the deciding game in Abidjan. Ayew has also played for Ghana’s Black Meteors, the U-23 side that competed at the last All Africa Games and in the qualifiers for the Men’s Tournament at the Beijing Olympic Games. Ayew was called up to the senior squad during the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers but did not make his debut until the friendly against Angola in Luanda in November.
He has played in all except one of Ghana’s games since, to amass a total of seven caps. Ayew’s brother Andre is also in the Ghana squad and his younger brother Jordan recently made a debut for Olympique Marseille in France’s Ligue 1. His father never went to the World Cup although he was a Nations Cup winner in 1982.