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Name Samuel Kuffour
Gender Male
Ethnic Ghanaian
Job Ghanaian Footballer
Desc Fans outside Bavaria might not be familiar with who Kuffour is, but at the peak of his powers he was one of Bayern Munich’s best players and he still holds the record as the most capped African player in the club’s history

Affiliation

Org Ghana National Team
Club as Player Bayern Munich
  AS Roma
  Livorno
  Ajaz FC

2011 11 28 Retrieve

[Ghana’s Samuel Kuffour disappointed to have never won any trophies with the Black Stars] For me that was the sad thing in my life. Sometimes when I sit down and just analyse my life in terms football, it pains me that I couldn’t win anything because there is nothing that I can prove and show that I won something for the Black Stars. For me being part of the team that went to the World Cup in 2006 was great, but there is nothing that I can show to my children. The only thing that I have is a jersey that I can show my children that I also played at the World Cup. It pains me

2011 12 27 Retrieve

[From shifting cannabis and exchanging his television for football boots to winning the Champions League] I’m not arrogant and everybody who knows me, the players who know me, know the type of person I am. [The most famous, or perhaps infamous, incident was when Kuffour was expelled from the Black Stars’ squad at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations on disciplinary grounds for allegedly leaving camp without permission] It was really horrible. You will be in a hotel where there is no shower in the room; you have to go and have your shower somewhere. You have to eat at the chop bar. You don’t even have one T-shirt to wear. For me it was not proper and perhaps it was good that I left the camp

[He admitted to having a very challenging early life, having engaged in several misdeeds in his earlier years] I was a bad boy, a shoe shine boy, a wee [cannabis] seller. I did a lot of horrible things in my life

[But, as Kuffour recalled, the turning point of his career came when he received a call-up to the national Under-17 team, the Black Starlets, in 1991. The problem, however, was that he had no football boots at the time. After much thought, the young Kuffour asked his mother for help to buy the footwear] My mum stood behind me and lied to my sisters that the TV was with the repairers, but the TV was sold and I got the money to buy the boots. She really saw something in me even though, at the time, football was not that big

[That sacrifice was worth every cent because it opened the door to Kuffour’s stardom] We had about four German national team players playing with me but Franz Beckenbauer told me ‘you have to play’. Every day, I had to give 120 per cent to the team because I am from Africa. Sometimes even when I was sick, they had to give me injections so I could play

2017 07 21 Retrieve

[Former Ghana and Bayern Munich defender Samuel Osei Kuffour says he does not see himself taking up a coaching job] No, coaching is not an option. I don’t want to be a football coach. There are other things am looking at but definitely not coaching. I want to look at other things. I am already into business and things are working out for me now. I haven’t thought of getting into coaching at the moment

2020 04 25 Retrieve

[Ex-Ghana and Bayern Munich ace Kuffour feels cheated in losing Caf awards to Kanu and Diouf] I think I should have won the two of them because in 1999, Kanu was injured for [almost] the whole year. He scored a hat-trick [against Chelsea] but how many games did he play? Last time, he and I were debating, we were talking about it. Kanu and I go a long way, we have been very good friends. We were discussing the issue and it turned into laughter. For me, I think I deserved to win in 1999. Even the guy who came third, [Ibrahima] Bakayoko [of Mali] told me I deserved to win it

In 2001, even for the BBC African Player of the Year, El-Hadji Diouf was not even part of it. It was me, Mohammed Kallon of Sierra Leone and [Samuel Eto’o](samuel-eto-o.html). So why should El-Hadji Diouf win [the Caf award]? If you become the African Player of the Year, they [Caf] will call you to tell you. You have to choose the venue and date. And I did that: I chose the venue and date. Even today, a lot of people ask about that; they were shocked. How?

You play Africa Cup of Nations in January and you didn’t win the trophy. I won the league, FA Cup, the Champions League, the Inter-continental Cup - I was the [Man of the Match], I was the best defender in the German league, so how? I don’t know. I don’t think about it. We talk about it and we laugh – me and my children

[The year 2001 forever holds a special place in Kuffour’s heart as aside from the club honours, he picked up a number of individual prizes too] I think 2001 was the greatest moment of my career because it was a year of gold for me because 1991 we [Ghana U17] won the World Cup and in 2001, I won the champions League. And then I won the [BBC] African Player of the Year, the Ghana Player of the Year, the Ghana Sportsman of the Year, I won the Intercontinental Cup in Japan [where I won the Man of the Match] and got a car. So for me, 2001 was an incredible year for me

I don’t have a low moment of my career because in my career, I was consistent. The consistency was very key for me because if you want to be the best, you cannot play for just two years and become the best. For me to be recognised among the 30 Best African Players of All-Time and being the only defender, I think it was a great achievement for me

2020 05 06 Retrieve

[Former Bayern Munich ace Samuel Osei Kuffour has opened up on his mentors as a young footballer, saying it was a privilege to ultimately play alongside 1990 World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus] When you are young as a player, you will have a mentor. I was in [the Ghana national team] camp with Frimpong Manso and Emmanuel Armah and I really wanted to be like them because the way they were playing was amazing. But my thinking later was that I wanted to be better than them.

When I had the chance to move to Torino in Italy, I wanted to be like Julio Cesar of Brazil. He was my mentor. So when I had the chance to play against him, I wanted to be better than him. So my dream was to get better every day. When I had the chance to play alongside Lothar Matthaus, that was a privilege for me. I wanted to be better than him as a defender

[In 2007, the 43-year-old was named among the Top 30 Best African Players of All-Time by the Confederation of African Football] My ambition was to be one of the top defenders in the world and at a point in my career, I was like one of the best in the world because everyone was saying ‘you’re too good, you’re this, you are that’. I was lucky to play against all the top defenders and none of them was able to do anything against me. When I was young as an African, a Ghanaian, the only thing at the back of my mind was to progress in my life and I was getting better each and every day so I thank God for it

In Africa, the one I was looking up to was from Senegal and he was very good. The name is Roger Mendy. He was playing at Sampdoria in Italy. He was so good as a defender. At Senegal 1992 [Afcon], he was one of the best in the tournament. I was just looking up to that guy

2020 05 10 Retrieve

[Sammy Kuffour- Bayern Munich legend wanted to put a smile on his mum’s face] As a young man growing up, the one thing in your mind is that you want to play football. But you never know where [exactly] you are going until you get there. Because I had dropped out of school, because of the financial situation of my mum, the one thing on my mind was that I just wanted to put a smile on my mum’s face and pursue my dream [when I started playing football]. But [among the two], the first thing was to put a smile on my mum’s face