The 36-year-old, who is Black Stars' all-time top scorer with 51 goals and most capped player (109 appearances), was part of the team that conducted the draw for the ongoing tournament in Cameroon last year.
Gyan talks exclusively to CAFOnline about the tournament in Cameroon, the Black Stars of Ghana, the return of coach Milovan Rajevac, the top stars in African football as well as the tournament favourites.
Asamoah Gyan interview
You were one of the few African football legends chosen to conduct the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations draw. Since you were in Cameroon, do you think the country can give Africa a good tournament?
Surely, I think Cameroon can host the tournament. Before any tournament is hosted CAF goes there with its top experts to check the facilities – the stadiums, the training sites and hotels.
I've been to Cameroon, and I had a warm reception there – they're welcoming. They have built a lot of stadiums and facilities that are impressive so they're capable of hosting the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations.
For the first time since 2008, you would not be playing at the Africa Cup of Nations. How does it feel, knowing that this tournament has been part of your entire playing career?
That's an interesting question. Things happen in life, and for what I have done for Ghana and African football, I think my name would not be forgotten. Being at home watching the AFCON will bring memories of what I have done for the nation especially in this tournament.
For now, I think I have to sit down and give my whole support to my team, the Black Stars, pray for them to make sure they perform better in the tournament. We would be cheering for them so that everybody would be happy for them in Ghana.
Who do you think are the favourites for this year's AFCON?
Which top players should the world look out for in this tournament, knowing that several Africans have been dominant in most of the top leagues in the world?
There are a lot of great players who are in great shape in their European teams, but in the AFCON anything can happen because it is an unpredictable tournament, because of the passion of African footballers when they play. We can get a new star in this AFCON.
Of course, we have Sadio Mane of Senegal, Egypt star Mohamed Salah, Ghana's Thomas Partey and Algeria striker Riyad Mahrez. These top, top players are doing well but there might be a new star coming up in this AFCON especially from Mali or Ghana. Let's wait and see.
You worked under Coach Milovan Rajevac and you reached the final of the 2010 edition before your heroics at the 2010 World Cup. Can the Serbian coach repeat the magic with the Black Stars?
Rajevac is a great guy tactically – he is very good and in 2010 we went to the final with him, he did a lot of great things for Ghana. He came back and he has started his magic. He came when there were doubts about whether we were going to win the other games and he delivered.
I think he's capable of repeating it again but it's a different generation when working with different kinds of players that suit his tactics. Although he has returned, he's doing a lot of things right, but this is a different era. Maybe he has changed his tactics a bit and we wish him the best of luck.
Ghanaians will be praying for him and the team.
What makes Rajevac a unique coach?
What makes Rajevac a unique coach is that he's a man of his words. He is somebody who stands firm on everything he says. He delivers, he doesn't listen to what anybody says, his decision is final, that is the only thing I like about him because he's a very strong character.
Although sometimes he doesn't express himself mostly in English – he's got a translator – but he is a very strong coach which I like about him.
Do you think the Ghana squad has got the potential of replicating what the 2010 squad did and going on to win the AFCON?
Ghana has potential; Ghana is a football nation. When you look at this current team, we've got great talent, young guys, hungry who are also trying to prove themselves for the nation, their families and everybody.
Most of the players are doing very well in their clubs this season. Talking about Kamaldeen he has started so well for Stade de Rennes, Kudus is also around doing well for Ajax although he has been battling with an injury he's still a top lad.
Thomas Partey started very slow for Arsenal, but he's regained his form and is doing so well Jordan (Ayew) is also doing so well for Crystal Palace although the goal scoring has not been coming recently his contributions for Palace has been excellent and I think we have a lot of great players, young players who can also deliver in this TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations.
Which Ghanaian players do you tip to excel in Cameroon?
Everybody is doing well and in top shape and in tournaments you can be a star but for this current Ghanaian team, the man who has really impressed me is Kamaldeen from Rennes.
I hope he continues his form in the AFCON and not forgetting Daniel Amartey he has done so well in his last few games.
What should the Black Stars avoid helping them make a big impact at the Afcon?
We should avoid conceding goals. We have to be solid in defence. We must defend very well because if a team doesn't score against you and you score automatically you have three points.
In Ghana everybody wants the team to play but this is a tournament you cannot afford to concede goals and I think defensively we have to be very tactical and very, very solid.