High-rising Ghanaian midfielder, Thomas Teye Partey, came off the Atletico Madrid bench to impress as Los Rojiblancos overturned a 2-1 first-leg defeat to eliminate holders Barcelona in a 3-2 aggregate win to reach the semi-finals of the Uefa Champions League on Wednesday night.
Partey could end up joining the few Ghanaian iconic names who have played at the grand finale of the Uefa Champions League with the semi-final draw set to take place on Friday morning
However, Pulse Sports take a look at Ghanaian players who have played in the semi finals of Europe’s most competitive club football…
Ibrahim Tanko [Dortmund] vs Real Madrid – 15 April 1998
Having lost 3-1 in the first leg, Dortmund coach Nevio Scala started Ghana striker Ibrahim Tanko upfront against European powerhouse Real Madrid in a semi final clash in Germany.
The return leg was a dull 0-0 affair and Real Madrid went on to win the competition by beating Juventus 1-0 in the final with a clear offside goal by Predrag Mijatović.
Ibrahim Tanko played 71 minutes but was unable to break the central defensive pair of Fernando Hierro and Fernando Sanz of the Los Blancos.
He was replaced by Harry Decheiver.
Samuel Osei Kuffour [Bayern] vs Dinamo Kyiv – 21 April 1999
Samuel Osei Kuffour played his first semi final match for Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League on April 21, 1999.
Dynamo Kyiv, inspired by Andriy Shevchenko, tormented Samuel Osei Kuffour’s Bayern Munich in a match that ended 3-3 in a cold night in Ukraine.
However, two late goals from Stefan Effenberg and Carsten Jancker handed Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side a vital away draw in front of 88,000 fans at the roofless Olympic Stadium. Kuffour played the entire duration of the game and was booked in the 61st minute.
The former Ghana international featured in the return leg as the Bavarians pipped the Ukranian champions 1-0 at the Olympiastadion in Munich.
Kuffour has since played in four Champions League semi final matches – all against Real Madrid in 2000 and 2001.
Michael Essien [Chelsea] vs Liverpool – 1st May 2007
Pepe Reina saved two spot-kicks as Liverpool made it through to Athens after beating Michael Essien’s Chelsea 4-1 on penalties.
Chelsea had won the first-leg of this Champions League semi-final 1-0 (a match which Michael Essien missed through suspension), and they were hell-bent on avenging their controversial defeat at Anfield two years previously.
Liverpool had other ideas, however Daniel Agger‘s brilliant finish from Steven Gerrard‘s low free-kick after 22 minutes levelled the tie on aggregate, and a hugely tense encounter eventually went to extra-time.
Bolo Zenden, Xabi Alonso and Gerrard all scored for the Reds- Arjen Robben and Geremi missed for Chelsea while Lampard was their only successful kick-taker- and it was left to Kuyt to send his side to the final in Athens.
Sulley Muntari [Inter Milan] vs Barcelona – 28th April 2010
Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan survived Thiago Motta’s early red card and Gerard Piqué’s late goal to reach a first final since 1972.
Sulley Muntari replaced Wesley Sneijder in the 66th minute to provide fresh legs in Inter’s bid to hold on, and the Ghana international provided a decent disciplined effort in his 25 minutes on the pitch. Muntari was booked in the 82nd minute.
The ex-Portsmouth midfielder was an unused substitute in the first leg at San Siro as an impressive Inter Milan trounced the then Euroepean champions Barcelona 3-1.
Hans Adu Sarpei [Schalke] vs Manchester United – 26th April 2011
Goals in quick succession from Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney broke Schalke’s resistance and left United on the brink of a third final in four years.
Ghana’s Hans Adu Sarpei was tentative at left back, not wanting to get too tight to Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia, who had him for pace and movement.
Sarpei was booked on 70 minutes before being replaced by the younger Sergio Escudero two minutes later.
In the return leg at Old Trafford in England, Anderson scored twice to give Sir Alex Ferguson’s side eased through to set up a repeat of the 2009 final against Barceona on 28 May. Sarpei this time around was an unused substitute