Sulley Muntari, Inter Milan and us: I am the greatest, or not

Long ago, the much-missed Sunderland fanzine It’s The Hope I Can’t Stand ran a funny spoof interview imagining SAFC’s direct negotiations on a new contract for Allan “Magic” Johnston. With each reply, the player’s asking price went up. I thought of that piece when I read two other spoof interviews, this time with our own – for now? for longer? – Sulley Muntari, much in our affections for his winner at Bolton.

From deep in Thailand, Phil Johnson*, a Mackem exile who clearly has far too much time on his hands, was trawling Inter Milan fan sites when he came across this; it’s hardly a dependable portrayal of our on-loan player’s character, but at least gives an idea of how some Inter fans saw him. This was the work of a young supporter who invented Muntari quotes about being on €6m a year, paying the club €10,000 for each red card he received and showing no shortage of self-esteem. Steve Bruce talks of a decision being made at the end of the season on whether to extend or convert the loan; perhaps this will help SAFC prepare for the negotiations

At the ForzaInter fan site – where you will also find some anti-SAFC banter, plus a poll showing 75 per cent of Inter fans in favour of offloading Muntari – the author is described in his profile as an 19-year-old Israeli who calls himself Inter Siamo Noi. These are edited extracts from the piece that so amused Phil ..

*************** Not the Inter Milan News ***************

The Ghanaian midfielder of Inter wants to renew his contarct. “I love Inter. When I come here I was so exciting, and now I more exciting because I want renew my contract. It’s simple, I help the club, so the club help me. Moratti and me are good friends and he say me that It’s nice to have players like me that love the club.”

When the reporter asks the probable wage, he said: “It’s not your business, but I tell you. It’s around the €6m a year until 2016. I think I deserve it because Mourinho give me playing time, and Mourinho knows what he do.”

Muntari said he had a special clause in his contract: “Mourinho know that sometimes I get red cards, so after every red card I pay €10,000 to the club.”

Then he offered some thoughts on his teammates and on himself: “I’m a megastar but (the others are) very good players. For example I’m maybe a little better than Zanetti or Milito, but only little. They’re also stars, not megastars like me but stars.”

Finally, the reporter asked Muntari if one day he wanted to manage Inter: “Yes! Yes! Finally I find a job in the football world that I can’t get a red card in 85 minutes. Ok, Maybe not because you know me, I have my craziness, sometimes I do stupid fouls but maybe I grow up whenever.”

How, the reporter asked, will Muntari be remembered by Inter fans in years to come. years. “Like I said, I’m a megastar, and they’ll remember as the biggest player that played here”. At Inter’s 200 year celebrations I will be in the San Siro as one of the biggest players of the team, and I promise that I will get only 250 red cards until the celebrations.”

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… and more

Muntari: “Yes, yes … I heard that the club want renew my contract and I’m happy because I love Inter and Inter love me, and it’s simple: I help the club, the club help me, Mou and Moratti like me and I like them. Simple. I don’t deny a word of the first interview except for when I said I would get €6m a year and that I’m a megastar.”

So how much really? “Like I said in the last interview, I have some (moments of) craziness, not many except that I’m an idiot that don’t know to stay on the pitch 86 seconds (reference to an infamous pair of yellows as a shortlived sub vs Catania – ed) and don’t know to pass. I also don’t know to hit in the referee. Sometimes I want get red card so I do a foul, but I want to upgrade and become a real man; I want hit the referee and get red card and suspended for eight matches. Ah … you ask me how much i will get per year and I talk about my craziness! I will get €12m a year because of my ego. I don’t like other players having bigger wages than mine, and now Eto’o get more money than me. I’m really megastar, not like Zanetti, Milito and Cambiasso; they’re wannabe Muntaris.

“I am a modest person. I will never say that I megastar, I only will say I’m the best player on earth. I won’t be arrogant and say other things … It’s true that the best player in the earth is always megastar, but I don’t say that I megastar, I only say that I the best player in the earth. it’s not shame to say the truth.”

* Phil Johnson on Phil Johnson:

I’ve supported the lads since the early sixties, when I was in my teens. I was in the Stretford End for the cup tie in ’64 and the Roker End for the 1st replay. Saw Terry Cooper clattered round the head with a haversack in the cup replay against Leeds at Hull and was behind the goal, at Wembley, when Porterfield scored in ’73. I left the NE in ’72 and bought my first season ticket for the 73/74 season, when I was living in Leeds, which I kept for the next 20 years (as I first moved to Birmingham, then London) and then had one at the SOL from when it opened until I retired to Thailand five years ago.

All in all I’m Sunderland daft and In common with a number of our exiles I spend hours trawling the internet for news of anything to do with the club, but am more fortunate than some in-so-much as every one of our games is shown live here – night games, though, are a pain, kicking off at 2.45am or 3am. Many, many memories , some good, some not so good – most seem like only yesterday, but I am now (ie January – ed) feeling my most optimistic, about our prospects, since we were promoted in ’64. What happened then, with that team, was a travesty and a clear example that the infamous “Shack” chapter about club directors was (if anything) too generous towards them!

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12 thoughts on “Sulley Muntari, Inter Milan and us: I am the greatest, or not”

  1. He’s been sent back. Too expensive is the official line.

    Lazy t___ the unofficial one!

  2. salutsunderland said “… reproduction of photos can be tricky Phil.”

    Sorry, I hadn’t thought about possible copyright issues.

    Birflatt Boy said “Grabbing a game by the scruff of the neck would be most welcome.”

    So, so true!

  3. Not sure about grabbing Beckham by the throat Phil. Grabbing a game by the scruff of the neck would be most welcome.

  4. Birflatt Boy said “He was clearly more motivated playing for Inter than he appears to have been when playing for us.”

    I think that if Colin had included the photo I supplied him with then there would not have been any room for doubt.

    In it, he had Beckham by the throat!!

  5. OK thanks for the clarification.

    Two yellow cards in 86 seconds would have me wondering about him too! 🙂

    He was clearly more motivated playing for Inter than he appears to have been when playing for us.

  6. What?! I said that by my birthday date in the forum, I’m 19. In the reality I’m 15.

    And that ‘articles’ wrote some days after Catania-Inter, when he came as a sub, got 2 yellow cards and gave penalty for the opponets, and that’s in 86 seconds.

    I don’t hate him. I just think he is’nt for Inter level, though he has the potential for it.

  7. I’m wondering if something is being lost in the translation here. It’s not clear whether Ron is 15 or 10, but you’d think that he would know how old he was last birthday.

    Jose thought that he was good enough to be in the starting XI every week when he was at Inter. Jose has a canny record in understanding and spotting players so I think I will go with his judgment rather than someone who doesn’t know when he was born.

  8. salutsunderland: Yes, now I see that in the forum, I’m 19 years old. like I said, it does’nt matter too much.

  9. Ron: the profile, I’m sure says, 19 (18 when Phil first sent me the link) …

    If he hasn’t the technical ability to play for you, he CERTAINLY cannot stay with us! May have to go somewhere like Lille or Juve.

  10. I’m that author, I’m 15 years old but it does’nt matter.

    Nice to read that article, that’s funny that it arrived for you. I just really hope that it won’t hurt Inter, don’t send it to your board, I want him to be sold. D:

    Btw, just to clear it, I don’t hate him. I even like him, because he’s a real fighter, I just don’t think he has the technical abilities for playing for us, even that he was really decent in his first season. That comedy of errors against Catania was really something weird.

    FORZA INTER.

  11. I think it’s clear to anyone that there are “issues” with Muntari’s mentality to the game. It takes a certain manager to get the best out of a bloke like this. Harry Redknapp was an example and so was Jose Mourhinho. Rafael Benitez couldn’t do it, and there’s precious little evidence that Steve Bruce can do it either. The problem for a player like Muntari is that the game comes to easily to him. He has enormous talent, but even for someone as gifted as he is, there needs to be some effort applied. He has no hunger from what I’ve seen.

    Arguably, it’s players like this that provide the acid test of a manager’s credentials. Good managers will be able to get the best out of him, and less capable managers won’t. It’s an interesting litmus test isn’t it?

    Muntari hasn’t done a great deal to convince the powers that be of his likely transfer value. He may not have played much football when he came, but he hasn’t done enough to suggest that he may be a different proposition next season. He was a bit more involved against Bolton and looked as if he had eventually realised that he needed to get his finger out. It’s all possibly too little and too late though.

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