Atletico Madrid's Partey rejects Ghana criticism ahead of Afcon

Goal brings the latest news from the Black Stars' camp as preparations for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt get underway

Ghana ace Thomas Teye Partey has responded to critics comparing his performances for Spanish club Atletico Madrid and his national team, Ghana.

The 25-year-old is expected to lead Ghana's quest for a fifth Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) title in Egypt next month, with the Black Stars are drawn against defending champions Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau in Group F.

Like many of his international colleagues who ply their trade abroad, he has been accused of playing below himself on national duty, to avoid injury.

"Obviously, at club level, you train with the same players every day and this is Europe so the facilities and pitches are better," Partey explained to the BBC.

"But for me, it's always the same - I like playing and everything I have earned is through this sport - so whether at club level or international level, once I am on the pitch I get in to give off my best."

Partey also shared his thoughts on Ghana's chances at next month's Afcon.

"To win a tournament like the Afcon, sometimes quality alone is not enough," said Partey. 

"We have to be able to sacrifice and go the extra mile and with that and a little bit of luck, I am sure we will emerge victorious.

"Unity and working for each other will be vital because we have got the quality of players already so we all have to be on the same page.

"This will be my second major tournament with the team so it's hard to tell what has been wrong in the past but we need to be united."

Ghana will open their campaign against Benin on June 25, play Cameroon on June 29 and face Guinea-Bissau on July 2.