Former Ghana coach Mariano Barreto says Sulley Muntari’s disciplinary issues have been a regrettable defect in an otherwise “fantastic player”.
The 58-year-old Portuguese manager handled the Black Stars between 2003 and 2004, during which he laid a sound foundation for Ghana’s historic qualification to the 2006 Fifa World Cup in Germany.
Barreto left the outfit after leading Ghana to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, during which Muntari was expelled for breaking camp rules. “As a player, Sulley is fantastic but sometimes he has problems with respecting the rules,” Barreto told Starr FM.
“That dismissal from Athens 2004 was the last mistake he made during my time. “It was not only one mistake. When he made the first mistake, I called him, advised him and warned he would be expelled from camp if he broke the rules once more.
“If you remember, he came crying and apologising. I never kill my players in the media.” At the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, Muntari was sent home before Ghana’s final group match with Portugal for an “unprovoked physical assault” on a Ghanaian official over appearance fees.
“I like Sulley as a player but he did not improve in Brazil and I will leave it to people to evaluate,” Barreto added.
“I cannot accept a professional player who cannot be an example for the younger ones.” The former AC Milan midfielder is still serving an indefinite suspension imposed by the Ghana FA in the aftermath of the Brazil 2014 debacle.
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