2006 World Cup: Osei Kuffour Revealed How Ex-GFA Boss Kwesi Nyantakyi Encouraged Him After Italy Game
Former Ghana defender, Samuel Osei Kuffour has hailed former Ghana Football Association (GFA) president, Kwesi Nyantakyi for his motivational words after he axed to the bench by Ratomir Dujkovic during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
The former Asante Kotoko and AS Roma defender was a kingpin in Ghana’s maiden qualification to the World Cup.
In the country’s opening game against Italy, Osei Kuffour committed which the Italians capitalized on to score their second goal.
After a costly mistake in that first match, a 0–2 loss, he was dropped for the next three games.
Speaking to GTV Sports Plus in an interview, he said, "Everybody was expecting me to play throughout the World Cup but it did not happen.
"Players and management were expecting me to agitate but I stayed calm and always trained as a professional player.
"I remember former GFA boss, Kwesi Nyantakyi came to me and said I should stay strong and hope for a better time.
"My teammates also came to me and encouraged me but I was not offended with the decision of the coach," he added.
Ghana exited the 2006 World Cup at the Round of 16 after losing 3:0 to Brazil.
Kuffour won his first cap as a 17-year-old in a game against Sierra Leone on 28 November 1993.
At the junior level, he was a member of the Ghana side that won the 1991 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Italy and the one that was runner-up to Nigeria in the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Japan.
At youth level, he appeared with the team that finished second to Brazil during the 1993 FIFA World Youth Championship in Australia.
Kuffour became the youngest Olympic Football Champion of all-time when he collected bronze at the 1992 Olympics.
He was also a member of the squad that reached the quarterfinals at the same level in 1996.