By Tony Ubani
Sulley Muntari has his hopes for Ghana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africaâ„¢ and is eyeing a place in the final four of the tournament.
The Inter Milan midfielder believes that Ghana, who open their Group D campaign against Serbia on Sunday, before taking on Australia on 19 June and Germany on 23 June, can better their Round of 16 finish of four years ago in Germany on their FIFA World Cup finals debut.
We want to get out of our group and get to the semi-finals or even further.Sulley Muntari, Ghana midfielder
â€œAfter what we did in 2006, expectations are sky high,â€ said Muntari, who has been struggling with a left thigh injury. â€œWe want to get out of our group and get to the semi-finals or even further.
â€œGermany are the group favourites and so it will doubtless come down to Serbia – we donâ€™t know quite what to expect against them, but we know they are a good team. Our goal is to produce good football.
Meanwhile John Pantsil wants Ghana to build on an impressive Nations Cup campaign Ghana right-back John Pantsil expects no less than a semi-final appearance for his country at the World Cup in South Africa.
The Fulham defender told BBC World Serviceâ€™s Sportsworld: â€œAn African country can lift the cup.
â€œIn Germany in 2006 we reached the last 16 but now, with Africa hosting and a stronger squad I have full confidence of us being in the semi-finals.
â€œIt is a big chance for Africa to achieve,â€ he added.Ghana will be looking to build on their 2006 World Cup campaign which saw them notch up impressive wins against Czech Republic and the USA, before being knocked out by Brazil in the next round.
â€œOur group is very tricky but we have to focus on doing better than before,â€ he said.
The Black Stars line up in Group D alongside Germany, Australia and Serbia. Their first game, against Serbia, takes place on 13 June in Pretoria.
After an impressive African Cup of Nations campaign, which saw Ghana lose 1-0 in the final to Egypt, confidence in the camp is high.
Pantsil missed out on the competition because of a ligament injury, but now has his sights firmly set on an outstanding showing in South Africa.
â€œWe are not lacking in any area. We have a good first 11 and a good bench so that will help the team progress to a better level than 2006,â€ he said.
He is also looking forward to having the full support of not only his home country Ghana, but the rest of the continent, too.
â€œAll the African countries will get great support from South Africa. African fans will not support one country but will support Africa,â€ Pantsil said. â€œIn Africa we love football.â€