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Sulley Muntari
Sulley muntari.jpg
Personal information
Full name Sulleyman Ali Muntari
Date of birth August 27, 1984 (1984-08-27) (age 25)
Place of birth Konongo, Ghana
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10+12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Internazionale
Number 11
Youth career
2001–2002 Liberty Professionals
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2007 Udinese 125 (8)
2007–2008 Portsmouth 29 (4)
2008– Internazionale 46 (5)
National team
2002– Ghana 52 (15)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 October 2009.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 March 2010

Sulleyman Ali "Sulley" Muntari (born 27 August 1984 in Konongo, Ghana) is a Ghanaian footballer who currently plays for Serie A club Internazionale. He is a central midfielder, but can also play as left winger. He also plays for the Ghana national team, but his relationship with the Ghana Football Association has been rocky at times.


Club career


Early career

Muntari's abilities first came to light in youth tournaments, while he was playing for Liberty Professionals in Accra. He became a regular member of Ghana's U-20 team at the age of 16 as they finished runners-up at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina, losing out to the hosts in the final.[1]. Despite impressing during a trial with Manchester United after the Tournament[2] he was soon packing his bags for Udinese.


He joined Udinese in 2001[2][3] where his first season was spent in the reserves, but he made his debut on 6 November 2002, against Milan. The Rossoneri proved too strong on the day, yet Udinese's young newcomer left an instant impression. "Muntari was immense against Milan," enthused monthly magazine Football Italia, "showing himself to possess the touch of Kaká and the combativeness of Edgar Davids, he is definitely a player to keep a close eye on." [4]

In his second full season, he made 23 appearances, and increased his standing to 33 appearances the following season[5], although indiscipline saw him sent off three times in 16 matches in the 2006–07 season [6]. He left Udinese for Portsmouth after 5 seasons.


Muntari had already indicated a desire to move to the Premier League[7], when in early 2007 transfer bids were received from Portsmouth[8], Milan [9], Juventus [10], Roma[11] and Internazionale[12]. He eventually opted for Portsmouth[13] and transferred on 30 May 2007, for a new club record fee, believed to be around £7.1m, signing a five-year contract.[14][15] He was a regular member of the first XI throughout the 2007–08 season playing 29 League matches and scoring 4 goals. He had his debut on 11 August 2007 against Derby County in an away game. His performance of note was away at Aston Villa where he scored two spectacular long-range goals. He also played 4 FA Cup matches scoring the winner from the spot in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford in the sixth round of the FA Cup. He was in the first XI that won the 2008 FA Cup Final at the Wembley Stadium. He left Fratton Park after 1 season to join Internazionale.


On 2 March 2007, it was reported in the Italian press that Inter were preparing a summer offer for the midfielder. Injuries to Esteban Cambiasso and Patrick Vieira underlined just how short of ball-winning midfielders the "Nerazzurri" were and they would remedy that problem in June 2007. Transfer consultants Marco Branca and Gabriele Oriali were looking around Europe for possible options and Muntari seemed to be their man at the insistence of then Coach Roberto Mancini[16], although Muntari ultimately went to Portsmouth in the summer of 2007. But on 21 July, 2008 Italian newspaper La Repubblica[17][18] reported that with the probable failure of new Inter Coach José Mourinho to land his former Chelsea protégé Frank Lampard, Muntari was now his first choice central midfielder. The reports gathered pace in the Italian Press[19] in the next few days that Muntari had already agreed a 4-year contract[20] with Inter. But Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp told Sky Sports News "I don't want to sell him. He is one of my best players and is a terrific young talent" when quizzed about Inter's supposed interest in Muntari[21].

On 24 July 2008, BBC[22] and Gazzetta dello Sport[23] reported that Muntari will complete a €16 million plus bonuses move to Inter[24][25]. He finally completed his move to Inter on 28 July 2008 and will wear the number 20 jersey[26], previously worn by Álvaro Recoba for many years.

On November 22, 2008, Muntari scored the winner following a wrong shot on goal from Zlatan Ibrahimović in the Derby d'Italia against rivals Juventus. Two weeks later, Muntari scored a backheel goal against Napoli at the San Siro after a great cross from Maicon, a match that ended 2-1 for Inter. In the very last Serie A match of the season on 31 May 2009 versus Atalanta, he opened the scoring for Inter after blasting in a Luís Figo cross from outside the penalty box. Later, his shot on goal was parried by the goalkeeper but Esteban Cambiasso scored from the rebound to make the score 3-3. Inter eventually won 4-3 and Muntari won his first Scudetto after his first season with the club.

In August 2009, his manager Jose Mourinho again found himself causing controversy after commenting that Muntari, a practising muslim, was lacking fitness and energy due to fasting during the month of Ramadan. He was reported to have said 'Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan, perhaps with this heat it's not good for him to be doing this (fasting). Ramadan has not arrived at the ideal moment for a player to play a football match.'[27] . The comments sparked an angry response from Muslim leader Mohamed Nour Dachan.'I think Mourinho could do with talking a little less,' he said. 'A practising (Muslim) player is not weakened because we know from the Institute of Sports Medicine that mental and psychological stability can give a sportsman an extra edge on the field.

'A player who is a believing Christian, Jew or Muslim is certainly calmer psychologically and that improves his performance.'

However, since these comments many Muslims and non-Muslims have come out in defence of Mourinho saying that no offense was meant towards the player, but while the manager could have been more tactful in his treatment of the issue it stands to reason that a lack of food and water will affect a player's stamina and energy level.[28]

International career

Muntari (right) taking a free kick at the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

Muntari had his first taste of an international fixture in the youth squad and was chosen for the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship as Ghana took second place. He won his first senior cap against Slovenia on 17 May 2002, and became a regular fixture in the team as The Black Stars opened their 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. He was selected for the Olympic side at Athens 2004, but was sent home for disciplinary reasons[29]. This started a dispute between Muntari and his federation, and he said that he would refuse to play for his country again, beating the record for the youngest international retirement.[30] He retracted, making a public apology to the federation[31], and was selected for the 2006 World Cup squad. He played in the first two matches, a 2-0 defeat by Italy and a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic, in which he scored, but having received a yellow cards in each game, he was suspended for the game against the United States, but returned for the second round match against Brazil, in which Ghana was eliminated.

He remained a regular member of the team, and appeared in the 2008 African Cup of Nations side, scoring the winner in the first group match against Guinea and the second goal in the last group match against Morocco. He scored his 3rd goal of the tournament when he scored a freekick against Côte d'Ivoire in the 3rd place play off. His goal against Guinea, a 25m left-footed pile-driver in the 89th minute was voted one of the Best Goals of the Tournament[32].

He was voted as an All-Star Player during the 2008 African Cup of Nations Tournament in Ghana. The Team of the Tournament was decided by the Technical Study Group (TSG) after careful observations of all the tournament's matches[33].

Although expected to play for Ghana in the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola, Muntari was excluded from the national team due to disciplinary problems. After purposefully missing an international friendly against Angola, he also snubbed a meeting with coach Milovan Rajevac[34]. Muntari later issued a full apology to his country and coach[35].

Career statistics

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 20 June 2004 Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi, Ghana  South Africa 3-0 Win 2006 WC qualification
15. 3 March 2010 Koševo Stadium, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-1 lose International Friendly
Correct as of 3 March 2010





National team


  1. ^ "World Youth Cup final: Argentina 3-0 Ghana". 2001-07-09. Retrieved 2004-04-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Man Utd chasing Ghana teenager". 2001-05-15. Retrieved 2001-05-15. 
  3. ^ "Ghana youth impresses at Man United". 2001-05-14. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  4. ^ "Sulley Ali Muntari (Ghana): The new Davids". 2006-06-11. Retrieved 2006-06-11. 
  5. ^ "Player to Watch: Muntari dreaming of Germany". 2005-09-26. Retrieved 2005-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Muntari handed three-game ban". 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2006-12-18. 
  7. ^ Sky Sports |Football
  8. ^ "Muntari tops Portsmouth shopping list". 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  9. ^ "Milan Join Muntari Hunt". 2006-10-12. Retrieved 2006-10-12. 
  10. ^ "Juventus to beat Portsmouth for Udinese's Muntari". 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2006-08-23. 
  11. ^ "Si tratta anche per Muntari e Rosina". 2007-05-29. Retrieved 2007-05-29. 
  12. ^ "Muntari wanted by Inter". 2007-03-02. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  13. ^ "Muntari seals Pompey move". 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  14. ^ "Pompey break bank to sign Muntari". 2007-05-30.,4643,138732,00.html?articleid=138732. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  15. ^ "Portsmouth seal Muntari signing". BBC Sport. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  16. ^ "Inter: Mancini apprezza Muntari". 2007-03-02. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  17. ^ "INTER: LAMPARD LONTANO, SPUNTA MUNTARI". La Repubblica. 2007-07-21. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  18. ^ "Inter Milan To Go For Muntari?". 2007-07-21. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  19. ^ "Muntari sorpassa Xabi". Gazzetta dello Sport. 2007-07-22. Retrieved 2007-07-22. 
  20. ^ "Inter, Muntari e Quaresma". Corriere dello Sport. 2007-07-23.,+Muntari+e+Quaresma. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  21. ^ "Harry - No Inter contact". SkySports. 2007-07-22.,19528,11854_3851242,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-22. 
  22. ^ "Muntari set for £12.7m Inter move". BBC Sport. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  23. ^ "L'Inter prende Muntari e congela Lampard". Gazzetta dello Sport. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  24. ^ "Inter close to signing Portsmouth's Muntari". Guardian UK. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  25. ^ "Muntari day for Inter". 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  26. ^ "Sulley Ali Muntari signs for Inter". 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Big blow to Ghana's Olympic team". 2004-08-11. Retrieved 2004-08-11. 
  30. ^ "I Won’t Play For Ghana Again!". 2004-08-13. Retrieved 2004-08-13. 
  31. ^ "Muntari Asks For Pardon". 2004-09-17. Retrieved 2004-09-17. 
  32. ^ "2008 ANC: BBC's Top 10 Goals". dailymotion. 2008-02-10. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  33. ^ "CAF names Best XI for Ghana 2008 ACN". CAF Online. 2008-02-10. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  34. ^ "Muntari was axed by Ghana over disciplinary problems". GhanaSoccerNet. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  35. ^ "Muntari issues grovelling apology". GhanaSoccerNet. 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 

External links

Simple English

Sulley Muntari
Personal information
Full name Sulleyman Ali Muntari
Date of birth 27 August 1984 (1984-08-27) (age 26)
Place of birth    Konongo, Ghana
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10+12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Internazionale Milano
Number 11
Senior clubs
Years Club
Internazionale Milano
National team
2002- Ghana

Sulley Muntari (born 27 August 1984) is a Ghanaian football player. He plays for Internazionale Milano and Ghana national team.

Club career statistics

Club Performance League CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
ItalyLeague Coppa Italia League Cup EuropeTotal
2002/03UdineseSerie A12020--140
EnglandLeague FA Cup Football League Cup EuropeTotal
2007/08PortsmouthPremier League2942100-315
ItalyLeague Coppa Italia League Cup EuropeTotal
2008/09Internazionale MilanoSerie A27430-70374
CountryItaly 15212171-21019013
England 2942100-315
Total 181161920021022118

International career statistics


Ghana national team



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