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Former Black Stars Midfielder Sulley Muntari, Clearly Deserves An Extolment

Posted by Osei Agyemang
Sulley Ali Muntari

Former AC Milan and Ghana Black Stars player Sulley Muntari has scored numerous goals for both his country and club sides, yet one of the goals that got the world talking was his long and waving shot that he scored for the Black Stars against Uruguay at the FIFA World Cup 2010 on the African soil- – South Africa.

The goal, which was scored in the first half stoppage time, putting Ghana ahead 1–0 at half-time, was an all- – significant goal for Africa in that competition where Ghana was the only team representing the continent. Muntari opened the scoreline for Ghana with a thunderclap that beat the Uruguayan goalkeeper from a long range.

Ghana was incredible in that competition with the likes of Muntari putting the country at the highest point of the world. Sulley Muntari is known for that sort of shots and has exhibited that all through his playing career at different clubs he played for.

Many induce the calm but solid central midfielder is controversial, particularly on the field of play, but he has consistently substantiated himself with his mind blowing performance on the pitch, leaving such reactions about him. At a point, Muntari was named among best central midfielders in the world.

Since 2002, the player who never give any opportunity to sneak past on the pitch, played his international football with Udinese, Portsmouth, Internazionale, Sunderland, Milan, Deportivo La Coruña, and a few other clubs.

Yet, before he started carrying out his football career outside Ghana, he was a player of Liberty Professionals (one of the finest premier league clubs in Ghana at the time). The 36 year old has gone through the ranks of Ghana football – ie. from U-17, U-20 in 2001 when he joined the young “20” team at age 16 through to the Black Stars of Ghana.

He helped the Ghana U-20 team to finish as runners- up at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina, missing out to the hosts in the final. Since joining the team, Muntari has never fizzled as far as performance is concerned. Indeed, even in difficult times (sick or engaged), he always avail himself for the team. His love for the national colours of Ghana (the red, yellow and green) was exceptional.

International Reputation:

During his experience with Internazionale, he helped the team win the Champions League in 2009–10 and the Serie A title in 2008–09 and 2009–10. He was also essential for the Portsmouth team that won the FA Cup in 2007–08.

At the English Premier League, he ensured his name was written in the books of best players. He played four FA Cup matches, scoring the winner from the penalty spot in a 1–0 triumph over Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Sixth Round of the FA Cup. He was in the starting XI that won the 2008 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium over Cardiff City. He left Fratton Park after one season to join Internazionale.

Playing a few of Italian teams, Muntari was also incredible and got his name out there. One of the essential snapshots of Muntari was when he scored a beautiful goal to give Milan a two-goal lead against Spain’s Barcelona ahead of the second leg in the last 16 tie the UEFA Champions League.

In Ghana: Muntari has been a part of the achievement of Ghana football, representing Black Starlets at the 2001 Meridian Cup, including a 1–1 draw with Portugal and losing to Italy 0–1. He has from that point forward been focused on every one of the national team stages to the The Black Stars.

In the wake of turning into a full international in 2002, Muntari procured more than 80 caps for the Ghanaian national team and was selected for two Africa Cup of Nations competitions and three FIFA World Cups.

Sulley Muntari won his first senior cap against Slovenia on 17 May 2002, and became a regular player in the team as The Black Stars opened their 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. He was additionally selected for the 2006 World Cup squad, where he never disappointed but showed class in the competition.

Muntari played in the first two matches, a 2–0 loss by Italy and a 2–0 win over the Czech Republic, where he scored, but had yellow cards in each game. He was suspended for the game against the United States, but returned for the second round match against Brazil, wherein Ghana was eliminated.

Muntari was voted as an All-Star Player during the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations Tournament in Ghana. The Team of the Tournament was chosen by the Technical Study Group (TSG) after cautious perceptions of the relative multitude of competition’s matches.

Muntari has played in practically all games including qualifiers and all competitions (Africa and World Cups) for Ghana, aside from Brazil 2014, where he didn’t take part. Muntari’s actual strength and aggressive playing style, has helped him with making striking enhancements to his specialized abilities all through his career.

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He also has a decent left-foot, an amazing shot from outside the territory, and is a strong passer of the ball. Any time he passes the ball to any of the strikers in front, it leads to a goal.

One of them, was when Ghana was playing against Germany at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, when Muntari utilized his strength to take the ball from a German defender and moved into the 18-box, and spotted Ghana’s all time top scorer- – Asamoah Gyan, and squeezed the ball through for Gyan to score the equalizer for Ghana.

Sulley Muntari primarily excels as a ball-winner, due to his energy, tactical intelligence, and ability to break down the opposition’s play; a versatile footballer, although he is usually deployed as a defensive, central, or box-to-box midfielder, he is also capable of playing as a left winger or even as an attacking midfielder.

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