Soccer News of Monday, 22 August 2016
Samuel Osei Kuffour is one of Africa’s greatest footballers of all time and was known for his power and pace during his illustrious 11-year-stay with Bavarian giants Bayern Munich.
Stints with AS Roma and Ajax followed but he never quite made it to the same lofty heights he attained in German football.
At national level, Kuffour divides opinion mainly because of a perceived brash attitude but he has over 60 caps for the Black Stars and represented Ghana in five different Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
He was part of the history-making Black Stars squad which qualified Ghana to her first World Cup berth in Germany but his tournament was cut short after a dreadful back pass that allowed Vicenzo Iaquinta to score the second goal and ultimately seal victory in that game.
Ten years down the line after that cold night in Hannover Kuffours opens up on that regrettable moment.
(He laughs) “To be frank I never thought about the back pass again. I am a very strong minded person and because it was a genuine mistake I just moved on. Do you know the number of players who scored an own goal in that tournament?
“I don’t care. A lot of things were said but for me, I moved on and played with Roma and it all went on very well.
“My advice to the young ones is that never ever look down on yourself. In football anything can happen but you have to be strong and move on.”
Remember in the game when you score you are the Jesus Christ and when you make a mistake you are the Satan.”
Having had a successful career Kuffour is carving a niche for him in punditry. He is one of the highest paid football pundits on the African continent. He reportedly earns five thousand dollars per appearance.
He talks about how he is enjoying the experience but he is not too clear if his love for the game will push him to the dugout.
“Well punditry has been good to me and I have the charisma to be a coach but I don’t know if I will do it we will see.”
“I have seen that Michael Essien is doing something similar and that is impressive we need more to really grow the game.”
“With Supersport, if you have not played the game before it will be difficult for them to give you an opportunity.”
Having been a benefactor of the Ghanaian football, Kuffour admits the Ghanaian League has fallen below standard and in desperate need of quality to catch.
“I have not been at the stadium for sometime because in my view there is still a lot we can do to improve the game.”
“I saw the match between Hearts and Kotoko on television and was impressed with the turnout at the stadium but the quality of football, in my opinion, was very low.”
On 2 October 2014, Kuffour announced he was set to be named as the CEO for Kumasi-based football club Kumasi Asante Kotoko after being appointed by the club owner Otumfuor Osei Tutu II.
But by 15 October, it had become apparent that the early announcement had caused the Otumfour to renege on the decision.
“(He laughs) I never change my dreams but I try to concentrate on what I have at the moment. If I did not get it, I move on with my life.
I don’t think about it if it did not come I just move on with my life because there is a lot I have to do.”
Having played in the in five different Africa Cup of Nations, Kuffour is certain that the nation has what it takes to win the elusive trophy but the Ministry and FA must work together.
“Well, we all have to work under one umbrella and give it our all because there is a problem between the Ministry and FA but they have to work together if we are to succeed in Gabon.”
My concern is the preparation on their mind. The players must be fighters and if they have the right mindset, then we can win and do great things.