Kuffour reveals the past

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Kuffour reveals the past

Postby Kwame on Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:15 am

He has enjoyed an illustrious career filled with controversies. However Samuel Osei Kuffour says he has enjoyed his career and believes he is misunderstood sometimes.

The international defender, speaking on national television on Thursday singled out the present FA, Appiah and Real Madrid’s Raul for praise when he touched on a wide range of issues bordering on his career, the national team and the future.

Champions League glory and Essien

Samuel Osei Kuffour became the second Ghanaian player after Abedi Ayew Pele to claim Champions League glory.

The Ghanaian defender made over 60 Champions League appearances, won it with Bayern Munich in the 2000-2001 season after missing out narrowly in a first attempt.

“It’s a great competition to play in. All the best players line up for the big teams in such games. It was wonderful to have won it afterall.”

“You Abedi Pele also missed it the first time but finally won it. I believe Michael Essien would win it eventually.

“He is such a great player and can go ahead to win more.”

Respect for Raul

Having arrived in Europe at the age of 15, Osei Kuffour has come up against countless numbers of strikers but the defender claims Spain and Real Madrid’s Raul stands out as the most difficult striker to mark.

“Raul of course! He is a dangerous striker. He is not the physical type of player and also doesn’t have the pace like others do have. But he blocks well, holds the ball and causes problems.

“He has composure and smells the goal. Raul also gets himself in goal scoring positions. He is the one that poses all the problems.

Commitment to the nation and pressure

A host of Ghanaian players have been criticised for not remaining committed to the national team. However, Kuffour says everyone dreams of serving the national team and it comes with pride.

“It’s a great feeling playing for the national team. When the national anthem is played, you have to feel proud of the jersey. I always made sure my mum got a ticket to watch us (Black Stars) anytime we played in Kumasi. It was good to serve the nation.

Some players tend to buckle down when the expectation is high. Kuffour believes one must be confident at all times.

“Every player must play with confidence and show everyone that one can play. Just go out there and play. Don’t let the pressure be against you.”

The troubles of Tunisia

According to Kuffour, Ghana lacked the qualities of Appiah in the past when he recounted the events of 1994 at the Nations Cup where a strong Black Stars including Abedi Pele and Tony Yeboah failed to progress past the first quarter final.

Reports at the time indicated that there was disunity within the Black Stars.

But Kuffour plays down the issue and gives a different perspective on what was the problem.

“There was unity but everyone wanted to be a leader,” Kuffour said.

“Abedi is a great footballer by all standards. He was my captain and I respect him. But he was not a great leader.”

Another hotspot, Mali

If Tunisia exposed some cracks within the senior team, then the tournament in Mali 2002 seemed to offer some glimmer of hope.

The team look promising but got a false start when regular captain, Charles Akonnor was omitted from the squad by Osam Duodo. The mantle fell to Osei Kuffour to lead the team.

The decision to drop Charles Akonnor from Ghana's Nations Cup plans rather caused a huge problem for the management with Kuffour, then with Bayern Munich refusing to take up the job of skipper.

Accusations were directed all over with members of the FA especially Ben Koufie and Abedi Ayew Pele coming under attack.

Six years on, Osei Kuffour explains why he declined to lead his nation to the finals.

“I didn’t accept it because I didn't want to betray anyone.

“Ben Koufie and Abedi Pele called me over the decision. But I asked if they had spoken to C.K. (Charles Akonnor).

“C.K. was a close friend. I wanted to be clear if the right thing had been done.”

“The captain band is nothing. The band is different from being a captain. You have to have those qualities to do the job.”

Praises FA and colleague

FA Praise

The player, by far the most high-profile member of the Ghana squad at the 2002 Nations Cup hosted by Mali was sent back home as officials at the time claimed he was behaving in an "unruly" way and "breaking the rules of the camp".

Kuffour denies the claims: “People get rumours everywhere. I was disappointed in them. They didn’t show concern.”

“This FA is doing everything possible. They (FA) helped us get to the World Cup and have changed everything which is helping Ghana football.”

World Cup and Appiah leadership

Ghana had shown enough potential over those years but had consistently missed out of the World Cup.

However, the Black Stars achieved a historic feat in 2005, when the team led by Stephen Appiah qualified for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.

Ghana captain Stephen Appiah is yet to win a title with senior side but his singular leadership to the Black Stars has been hailed by many including one of Ghana’s most accomplished international performers, Samuel Osei Kuffour.

Kuffour has played alongside Appiah, since the former Fenerbahce player received his senior debut call up at the age of 16.

“Stephen Appiah is a great leader. He has taken Ghana to the World Cup.”

“He has all the qualities. I have been with him and I tell you he is a good leader.”

The World Cup capped the list of football competitions that players dream to play in, likening Samuel Osei Kuffour to the Brazil’s Ronaldinho, who has played in every major football competition.

“It was a great competition to be part of. Every player enjoys playing for the national team and the World Cup is a big tournament that everyone wants to be part of.”

But Kuffour’s international career appears to have lasted some 90 minutes in Ghana’s 360 minutes of play time at the World Cup finals in Germany.

A miscued back pass in the opening game against Italy saw Ghana crushing to a 2-0 defeat. Afterwards, Kuffour remained on the bench as the Black Stars went on to reach the round of 16 and has been out of the team ever since.

“I was thinking about my children because I thought if they go to school, someone could attack them,” as he recollected the moments after Italy scored from his error.

“It was just a mistake. I was giving a back pass. No one can do anything about it. But things like that happen in football.”

“I don’t know why it ended after the Italy game. I have had other invites into the team but I declined.

“I had the chance to play against Brazil (at the World Cup) but I declined.”

Call time on international career

At 32, Kuffour admits that his time with the national team is up having played for the senior team since 1996.

“My time is up. I am an ex-international now. Everyone would be an ex one day. I have enjoyed my time with the national team having played his 1996.”

January return

Kuffour remains clubless after being released by Ajax at the end of last season. Despite reports linking him to clubs in the English Premiership, the Russian league and a possible move across the gulf, he says it’s time to relax and sort out his future and that of his kids.

“I want to relax now. There’s no pressure to get back into the game. I have got to think about my future and that of my kids.

“Maybe in January, I would go back and play again.”


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Re: Kuffour reveals the past

Postby kakai on Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:16 am

When Kuffour f%%ked up during the world cup I wanted to cut his f%%king balls off. Bad defender! :twisted:
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Re: Kuffour reveals the past

Postby Nancy on Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:17 am

kakai wrote:When Kuffour f%%ked up during the world cup I wanted to cut his f%%king balls off. Bad defender! :twisted:

Was that necessary? Aaah. :roll:
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Re: Kuffour reveals the past

Postby austingh on Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:19 am

Kakai, Kuffour was one of Ghana's great defender ever you nincom****. :roll:
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Re: Kuffour reveals the past

Postby kakai on Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:20 am

austingh wrote:Kakai, Kuffour was one of Ghana's great defender ever you nincom****. :roll:

Don't you ever insult me. :x
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Re: Kuffour reveals the past

Postby kofi max on Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:23 am

The guys has played top European football in his life. Osei Kuffour is the world's greatest. Undoubtedly. He played with wonderful players like Michael Ballack. He has absolute class.
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