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By ESPN Staff

Rajevac excited to take charge of Ghana

Milovan Rajevac has admitted the opportunity to lead Ghana to the 2010 World Cup was too good to turn down.

The former FK Borac and Red Star Belgrade boss was the surprise choice as successor to Claude Le Roy, with German trio Klaus Toppmoller, Ulli Stielike, Volke Finke, former French international Jean-Pierre Papin and Austrian Josef Hickersberger all reportedly considered.

But after signing a two-year deal, Rajevac is confident in his ability to succeed.

'If players do what I expect and say, I am sure we will not just be a part of South Africa 2010 but we will also do something significant,' he said through an interpreter. 'I want this to be another big step in my career.

'For me success with the Black Stars will mean success in Angola and success in qualifying for South Africa 2010 and doing well there.

'If we work together as a team with positive energy, then we will be there in 2010. I will lead from the front of course but a lot will depend on how we all work together.

'I am very happy and proud to be to be in a country where football is so popular. The talent in this country and the passion for football is one of the reasons I could not turn this down.'

Rajevac becomes the third Serbian to lead the west African country following in the footsteps of Ratomir Dujkovic - the man who guided Ghana to the second round of their debut World Cup in Germany in 2006 - and Milan Zivadinovic.

And the new man is hoping to count on the knowledge shared by Dujkovic as he prepares for the journey ahead.

'He did very well here and that impressed me,' Rajevac told www.ghanafa.org. 'He achieved historic success here and that was one of the reasons why I am here. I want to emulate him.

'I spoke to him briefly on the telephone. It was not a lengthy conversation. He's a friend and we played together at Red Star Belgrade.'

The biggest attraction for the 54-year-old is the World Cup that gets under way in less than two years' time.

He continued: 'I am here because of the World Cup. I believe in the ability of the Ghana national team to qualify for the World Cup once again.

'It's a wonderful challenge which won't be easy but I am hopeful of leading Ghana to South Africa. I know with the support of the FA, the team, committed players, the fans and everyone involved, we will make it.

'I will build my team around Stephen Appiah, John Mensah, Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and John Pantsil. They are the spine of the team.'

His first official game for Ghana will be a friendly against Tanzania in Arusha on Wednesday evening.

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