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Sammy Kuffour

Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy - British Council
 This article was generously provided to ClubFootball by the British Council, which operates in China as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy.

 

Football is what he plays, faith in God is what he practises. For "without God nothing in life is possible," Bayern Munich's Sammy Kuffour will tell you.
 
That is the credo that guides the 26-year-old Ghanian through life. It has been so since his childhood. He was brought up by his parents in the Church of the Pentecost to believe in God.
 
Sammy is as passionate about his faith as he is about the game. He believes his faith in God makes him not only a better person but also a better footballer. More tolerant of others, more determined to succeed and more self-disciplined.
 
"When I'm home in Ghana I'm often asked for advice by kids about playing football," Sammy likes to explain. "So I tell them it's important to train regularly, give your best in every game - but above all have faith in God."
 
Before every game he plays, Sammy Kuffour prays to God. Be it a friendly international, Champions League match or World Cup-tie. To pray for guidance is part of his pre-match preparation.
 
"I feel good after I've prayed. I just ask God to make sure everything works out for the best in the game. Praying helps me a lot, so I pray a lot." Sammy explains.
 
Prayer brings composure and determination. It helps him concentrate. And it gives him inspiration. Prayer has helped make Kuffour a leading player with Bayern, the current world club champions. And, of course, with Ghana.
 
Faith plays such an important role in Sammy Kuffour's life that he sees himself devoting his life to the church when his playing days are over. "I think a lot and read a lot about that at the moment," says Sammy.
 
"Maybe I'll become a missionary. I'm not sure at the moment. But I am sure that one day God will call me and tell me what he wants me to do."
 
Sammy Kuffour is an uncomplicated person. The two most important objects in his life can be found on his bedside table. One is a telephone, the other is a well-thumbed bible.
 
The telephone keeps him in touch with his family in Ghana. He supports them through his football earnings. So he regularly calls his mother Gloria to make sure the family is properly cared for.
 
The bible at his bedside is read more often than the sports pages of Kuffour's favourite daily newspaper. In fact reading the bible is really one of his hobbies. "I get a lot of fun out of reading the bible," Sammy says.
 
So his answer to the question -- which religious happening would he have like to have witnessed? - is not so surprising "Without doubt the birth of Jesus," Sammy responds.
 
Despite a two-game per week schedule with Bayern, as well as daily training sessions, Sammy Kuffour still tries to find time each week to squeeze in a bible hour with fellow-Africans. There he meets like-thinking Christians to praise God and discuss religious topics.
 
Perhaps that is not surprising either from a man whose faith in God has helped make him one of the most successful and likeable personalities in the world of football.

 

 

 

Roy Fairbairn, March 2002

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