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Samuel Kuffour

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Samuel Kuffour


Samuel Kuffour908
Date of Birth:
1976-09-03
Place of Birth:
Kumasi, Ghana

Samuel Osei Kuffour is a Ghanaian retired professional footballer who played as a defender.

Known for his great physical power, he is best remembered for his time with Bayern Munich, whom he represented for over a decade, winning a total of 14 honours, and playing in nearly 250 official matches.

Kuffour appeared with the Ghanaian national team in the 2006 World Cup, as well as in five Africa Cup of Nations.

Club career

Born in Ghana, Kuffour was brought to Europe by Torino F.C. in 1991 aged just 15, after playing junior football for local teams in his native country. He joined FC Bayern Munich in 1993 from the Italian club. After a season-long loan spell with 1. FC Nürnberg in the second division, he made his breakthrough with the Bavarians.

Kuffour spent 11 seasons with Bayern, rising from the youth teams to be a prominent first-squad member who lifted the UEFA Champions League with the club.

He was an integral part of the squad that won the 2000–01 Champions League, also scoring the winning goal in the 2001 Intercontinental Cup, being subsequently named man of the match. Also in that year, he finished second in African Footballer of the Year's voting, repeating the feat accomplished in 1999.

Kuffour was also part of the Bayern team which lost to Manchester United due to two late goals in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, famously beating the ground in frustration afterwards, a gesture that endeared him to Bayern supporters.

He also became the youngest defender of all-time to score in the Champions League, at the age of 18 years, 61 days during the match against FC Spartak Moscow on 2 November 1994, which ended in a 2–2 draw. Kuffour made over 60 UEFA Champions League appearances, being one of the most decorated African players of all time.

After twelve seasons in Munich and 175 Bundesliga appearances, Kuffour left Bayern in the summer of 2005, and signed a three-year deal with A.S. Roma in a free transfer, thus returning to Italy.

He made 21 appearances in his debut season, having spent a period of the season away on international duty and, in his second year, was loaned to UEFA Cup competitor and fellow Serie A team A.S. Livorno Calcio. He played his 89th and last match in European cup competitions for Livorno.

In August 2007, Kuffour had a trial with Premier League side Sunderland, with a view to a permanent move. However, manager Roy Keane confirmed he would not be joining the club, in a post match interview after Sunderland's defeat to Liverpool.

On 28 January 2008, AFC Ajax received Kuffour on a six-month loan contract, with an option for two more seasons. He was released following a lack of form, and was also deemed surplus to requirements by Roma boss Luciano Spalletti, thus becoming a free agent.

In August, it was thought that Kuffour had joined Russian Premier League side FC Khimki. However, it was announced on 10 September, by his agent, that he had retired from professional football with immediate effect.

Kuffour rejected the news and stated his desire to continue his career; on 26 January 2009, he was linked to Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire S.C. – the CEO of US-based Sports to Develop Destitute claimed he was helping the player finalise the deal.

In April 2009, Kuffour finally returned to Ghana after a 19-year absence, seeing his career out with a three-month deal with Asante Kotoko FC.

International career

A Ghana international for 13 years, Kuffour won his first cap as a 17-year-old in a game against Sierra Leone on 28 November 1993. He had previously been part of every national team – junior, youth and Olympic level – and became the full squad's captain at the age of 23.

Kuffour had burst onto the international scene at age 13. At junior level, he was a member of the Ghana side that won the 1991 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Italy and the one that was runner-up to Nigeria in the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Japan. At youth level, he appeared with the team that finished second to Brazil during the 1993 FIFA World Youth Championship in Australia.

Kuffour became the youngest Olympic Football Champion of all-time, when he collected bronze at the 1992 Olympics just before his 16th birthday. He was also a member of the squad that reached the quarterfinals at the same level in 1996.

Kuffour also made one appearance for his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, against Italy. After a costly mistake in that first match, a 0–2 loss, he was dropped for the next three games as Ghana bowed out in the round-of-16 against Brazil.

On 12 January 2007, the Confederation of African Football voted Kuffour as a member of the Top 30 African Players of All-Time.

Faith/Life after football

In 2003 Kuffour revealed to the BBC, in an interview for the 'Heart and Soul' documentary, that he wanted to be a priest or a missionary when he retired from football.

In the interview, he also spoke about the surprised reaction of some German players as he prayed before games, while also addressing the support he received from fellow Ghanaian Christians, especially those living in Munich.

In the same interview, Kuffour also talked about the death of his daughter Godiva, in a drowning accident in January that year. He explained that his Christian faith gave him the courage to face the future.

On 2 October 2014 he was announced CEO for Ghana-based football club Kumasi Assnte Kotoko after being appointed by the club owner Otumfuor Osei Tutu II. By 15 October it had become apparent that the early announcement had caused a renege on that decision by the Otumfuor.

On 8 February 2015, Kuffour was shaved as he vowed on live TV within the Supersports studios following the Black Stars failure to win the AFCON 2015 as he predicted.

International career

A Ghana international for 13 years, Kuffour won his first cap as a 17-year-old in a game against Sierra Leone on 28 November 1993. He had previously been part of every national team – junior, youth and Olympic level – and became the full squad's captain at the age of 23.

Kuffour had burst onto the international scene at age 13. At junior level, he was a member of the Ghana side that won the 1991 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Italy and the one that was runner-up to Nigeria in the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Japan. At youth level, he appeared with the team that finished second to Brazil during the 1993 FIFA World Youth Championship in Australia.

Kuffour became the youngest Olympic Football Champion of all-time, when he collected bronze at the 1992 Olympics just before his 16th birthday. He was also a member of the squad that reached the quarterfinals at the same level in 1996.

Kuffour also made one appearance for his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, against Italy. After a costly mistake in that first match, a 0–2 loss, he was dropped for the next three games as Ghana bowed out in the round-of-16 against Brazil.

On 12 January 2007, the Confederation of African Football voted Kuffour as a member of the Top 30 African Players of All-Time.

Honours

Club

Bayern Munich

Bundesliga: 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2004–05

DFB-Pokal: 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2002–03, 2004–05

DFB-Ligapokal: 2000, 2004

UEFA Champions League: 2000–01

Intercontinental Cup: 2001

International

Ghana Youth

FIFA U-17 World Championship: 1991

Summer Olympic Games: Bronze medal 1992

Individual

CAF Top 30 Best African Players of All-Time

Ghana Player of the Year: 1998, 1999, 2001

Intercontinental Cup Most Valuable Player of the Match Award: 2001

BBC African Footballer of the Year: 2001

Africa Cup of Nations: Team of All Tournaments