Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari joined the ninth club of his professional career on January 31 when he signed a one-year contract with Spanish second-tier side Albacete.
Muntari now aged 34, had been a free agent since leaving Deportivo La Coruna last summer but kept himself fit by training with Ghana Premier League club, Accra Hearts of Oak.
Over the course of his storied career, Muntari’s powerful left foot has never lacked suitors. His uncompromising style, strength, tenacity and eye for goal has also made him a cult figure for his national team and at most of the teams, he has played for.
Before turning professional in 2002, the Konongo native started his youth career with Liberty Professionals in his homeland before moving to Italian Serie A club Udinese after a trial at Manchester United.
He became a regular member of Ghana Under-20 team at the age of 16 as they finished runners-up at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina on the back of which he earned the Udinese transfer.
Muntari has since gone on to play for Portsmouth, Internazionale Milan, Sunderland (loan), AC Milan (loan), AC Milan, Ittihad FC, Pescara and Deportivo La Coruña.
Muntari’s Senior Career
Udinese – 2002-2007
Portsmouth – 2007-2008
Sunderland (loan) – 2011
Milan (loan) – 2012
Milan – 2012-2015
Ittihad – 2015-2016
Pescara – 2017
Deportivo La Coruña – 2018
Albacete – 2019
2008 – While at Portsmouth in May, The Sun newspaper reported that he had cheated on his then beauty queen girlfriend Menaye Donkor with a lap dancer, Amanda Jones.
Amanda accused Muntari of tricking her into the affair with a promise of marriage.
She fumed: “He promised me the world and even hinted that marriage could be on the cards. I feel such a fool.”
2009 – While at Inter Milan and on duty with the Black Stars he challenged Sports Minister Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak over winning bonuses.
The incident resulted in his mother Hajia Kande Muntari claiming in a radio interview that the Black Stars could not survive without her son.
2014 – At the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Muntari was handed an indefinite suspension by the GFA for allegedly slapping a management member, Moses Armah – and damaging property at the Black Stars hotel.
Tempers flared when the GFA met with some players of the team to decide how an appearance fee of $100,000 per head would be paid.
When invited by a Commission of Inquiry which probed the matter, Muntari said he had no idea of how to use Skype and did not present evidence.
2015 – In January he drew the ire of fans when he threw his AC Milan Jersey to the floor violently in anger after he was substituted by coach Philipo Inzhagi.
The AC Milan fans reportedly launched a campaign to get Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari out of the Italian club.
2016 – In June he apologised for his actions during the 2014 World Cup by formally writing to the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
In an apology letter seen by Graphic Online Muntari said, ” I write to express my sincere apology to the GFA and the entire nation for any embarrassment that my action in Brazil brought to the Black Stars team, the GFA and my beloved country Ghana”.
“I have reflected on what happened and I am deeply sorry and apologise to all the stakeholders in the GFA who were offended by my actions. Ghana has a special place in my heart and I will forever be indebted to my country and all the fans who have supported me from the beginning” he added and said, ” I am always available to play for the Senior National Team of Ghana whenever I am invited”.
2017 – On 30 April, Muntari while at Pescara left a Serie A match at Cagliari after his complaints of racist abuse were met with a yellow card. He was roundly praised for his actions.
“There was a little kid doing it with his parents standing nearby,” said Muntari, who played for Portsmouth and also spent a season on loan at Sunderland. “So I went over to him and told him not to do it. I gave him my shirt, to teach him that you’re not supposed to do things like that. I needed to set an example so he grows up to be nice.
“[The referee] told me I should not talk to the crowd. I asked him if had heard the insults. I insisted that he must have the courage to stop the game,” Muntari added. “The referee should not just stay on the field and blow the whistle, he must do everything. He should be aware of these things and set an example. I am not a victim. But if you stop the matches I am convinced that these things won’t happen any more.”