Samuel Osei-Kuffour defended with his heart and pride!
Whichever yardstick you use in measuring the greatness of Osei-Kuffour, you’d always arrive at the same one-word conclusion – legend. Heart and passion. No other defender in Africa had those qualities in him in the amounts that the former Munich demigod had. Every tackle he dived into, every header he elevated towards, he got into with full force, and usually won it, first to get up when the dust cleared. He’s was not immuned to a sporadic blunder or mistake but he made up for them with his non-stop effort during the whole 90 minutes, and despite all the flashy names Africa churned out, Osei Kuffour was and is the heart & soul in defending. Kuffour was always reliable to clear the ball in his area and also full of bravery, leadership and concentration on his game. It has rarely been a mistake of his. The Ghanaian was admired for his reading of the game and ability to anticipate opposition movement and had uncanny intuitive sense for where the ball was headed. His timing in the tackle was unmatched, and he was rarely off of his feet while winning the ball back for his team. Kuffour’s place among Africa’s legendary defenders is without doubt – the only question is whether he is the greatest of them all.
Club Honours: Bayern Munich: UEFA Champions League: 2000–01; Runner-up 1998–99, Intercontinental Cup: 2001, German League: 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2004–05, German Cup: 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2002–03, 2004–05; Runner-up 1998–99, German League Cup: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, Italian Cup Runner-up 2005–06 (Roma)
Country honours: FIFA U-17 World Championship: 1991; Runner-up 1993, Summer Olympic Games: Bronze medal 1992, FIFA U-20 World Cup: Runner-up 1993
Individual honours: African Footballer of the Year: Runner-up 1999, 2001, Ballon d’Or Nomination 2001, FIFA All-Star defender, Top 30 Best African Players of All-Time: Member, BBC African Footballer of the Year: 2001, Ghana Footballer of the Year: 1998, 1999, 2001, Youngest Olympic Football Champion of all-time (15 years, 11 months, 4 days), Youngest defender of all-time to score in the UEFA Champions League: Bayern 2–2 Spartak Moscow, on 02.11.1994 (18 years, 61 days), Most appearances by an African player in the UEFA Champions League, Ghana Athlete of the Year: 2001.