The biography and life story of Sammy Kuffour, the former Ghanaian footballer

The biography and life story of Sammy Kuffour, the former Ghanaian footballer

Ciku Njuguna
November 16, 2023 at 7:27 AM
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Sammy Kuffour is one of Africa's greatest football legends. The Bayern Munich fan favourite has had an eventful life that began with a humble career as a shoe shiner, all the way to the global stage as a professional footballer. Dig into this article and find out more about Sammy Kuffour, one of the greatest African footballers in history.

Sammy Kuffour
Sammy Osei (L) in action during an F.C. Bayern München match. Kuffour (R) poses before a Champions League match on September 28, 2004, in Munich. Photo by Gunnar Berning/Bongarts and Stuart Franklin.
Source: Getty Images

Who was the African player who played for Bayern Munich between 1993 and 2005? Nearly twenty titles marked Samuel 'Sammy' Osei Kuffour's stint at the Bavarians. This article provides a detailed snapshot of the life of one of the most successful African players at Bayern Munich.

Sammy Kuffour's profile summary

Full name

Samuel Osei Kuffour





Date of birth

3rd September 1976


47 years old as of November 2023

Zodiac sign


Place of birth

Kumasi, Ghana

Current residence

East Legon, Ghana






75 kilograms (165.3 lbs)


178 centimetres (5'8")

Hair colour

Black and grey

Eye colour



Gloria Abena Atea



Relationship status



Francisca Kuffour




Retired professional football player

The last team played for

Asante Kotoko SC

Playing position

Centre back defender

Years active

1983 - 2010

Net worth

$40 million

Social media pages

Instagram, YouTube


The retired centre-back was born and raised in Kumasi, Ghana, in a single-parent household. He told The Guardian that his father (unnamed) was a Nigerian from Shagamu in Ogun State.

Who is the best Ghana player?
FC Bayern München's centre-back Samuel Kuffour pictured during a charity match against FC St. Pauli in Hamburg in 2003. Photo by Christiane Quentin/Bongarts.
Source: Getty Images

Various sources reveal that Sammy, his three older sisters, and their mother, Gloria Abena Atea, lived in abject poverty. In an interview with Joy Sports, he spoke about their living conditions, saying,

"My mum inspired me. I saw her struggle with me and my three sisters in an uncompleted building without water and electricity. It was a five-storey building, and we were living there alone. Anybody could come in there and kill us for money rituals.

His mother, Gloria, was dedicated to her son's football career, even selling some of her property to buy football equipment. In an interview with Planet Sport Football Africa, he said,

"I carried a television on my head with my mum. We went to some place and gave the TV to somebody and got money to buy football shoes."
Who was the Ghana player that played for Bayern Munich?
Bayern Munich's Samuel Kuffour (In red) tussles for the ball during a UEFA Champions League match against Glasgow Celtic on November 25, 2003 at the Parkhead Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Gary M. Prior.
Source: Getty Images

How old is Samuel Kuffour?

Born on the 3rd of September 1976, Samuel Kuffour's age is 47 years as of November 2023. His zodiac sign is Virgo.

How tall is Samuel Kuffour?

Kuffour is 5 feet and eight inches tall (178 centimetres). His last official measurements showed he weighed 165.3 pounds heavy (75 kilograms).


Growing up, Kuffour would ply his trade as a shoe shiner each morning before school. However, he later dropped out of school owing to his family's financial situation. The Ghanaian international also founded a school in memory of his daughter, the Godiva International School in East Lagon, Accra.

According to several reports, the 1992 Olympic Bronze winner has sponsored several underserved and differently-abled students over the course of his career. In an interview, he confessed, saying,

Samuel Kuffour's net worth
Samuel Kuffour is pictured during an FC Bayern Munich training session on July 18, 2003, in Otterstadt, Germany. Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Bongarts.
Source: Getty Images
"I have never been to a university, but I live like someone who has been to a university. I wanted to help them change their lives so they could also inspire others."


Born a Muslim, Kuffour is among the numerous football players who have converted to Christianity. The retired Ghanaian international soccer star who has declared intentions to become a priest attributed the decision to the death of his 15-month-old daughter, Godiva.

Is Samuel Osei Kuffour married?

The former Black Stars' defender is known to be separated from his wife, Francisca Kuffour. However, several tabloids claim the former Bayern Munich player has remarried. Although he has not officially identified his partner as his new wife, tabloids claim the two are married.

Francisca Kuffour
Samuel Kuffour and his wife Francisca pose with the 2003 German Championship trophy on April 26, 2003, in Munich, Germany. Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Bongarts.
Source: Getty Images

Who is Charlotte Derban?

Charlotte is a Ghanaian singer, model, and actress who has starred in several movies, including Charade, Shattered Romance, Perfect Love, Beautiful Ruins, Hope, and Merciful Heart. Publications claim that Samuel Kuffour is married to the actress with whom he shares one son.

What happened to Samuel Kuffour's daughter?

In 2003, the three-time Footballer of the Year lost his daughter, Godiva, in a swimming accident. According to reports, Sammy Kuffour and his wife Francisca's 15-month-old daughter drowned while playing in the swimming pool at his East Lagon home in Accra, Ghana.

How many sons does Samuel Kuffour have?

Sports Brief's analysis reveals that Kuffour has five children. In 2019, he proudly spoke of his three teenage children who lived and studied in London, United Kingdom. Ghana Web reports that the proud father has the names of his children on his cars' number plates.

Who was the African player who played for Bayern Munich?
Bayern Munich's Samuel Kuffour (Right) celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Toyota Cup match against Boca Juniors at the National Stadium on November 27, 2001, in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by the Asahi Shimbun.
Source: Getty Images

On the 3rd of September 2022, reports that Samuel Kuffour's youngest son, Munich, was born. His former team, Bayern Munich, sent the number 4 player a unique birthday package containing two football kits, one in red and white, and bore the number 4, Kuffour's former squad number. The second shirt was a mini version of the jersey with the name 'Munich' and the number 22, referencing his son's year of birth.


Before joining the big leagues, Kuffour played for Fantomas Kumasi, King Faisal Babes FC, and later for Ghana's Under-17 team, the Black Starlets (U-17). His performance at the 1991 Under-17 World Championships earned him a place in Italy's Torino FC youth side between 1991 and 1993. Scroll down for details of his 26-year career.

How many teams has Samuel Kuffour played for?

At 16, the Kumasi-born defender began his international stint with the Reds, the first of 11 teams he played for. As one of the most successful Ghanaian players for Bayern Munich, Kuffour represented the club in 277 matches with ten goals and four assists. Here is a summary of his teams over the years.

Is Samuel Osei Kuffour married?
Ghana's Samuel Kuffour (In white) in action during the FIFA World Cup match against Italy at the Stadium Hanover on June 12, 2006 in Hanover, Germany. Photo by Clive Mason.
Source: Getty Images


First season

Last season

Asante Kotoko SC



Ajax Amsterdam



US Livorno 1915



AS Roma



Bayern Munich



1. FC Nuremberg



Bayern Munich



FC Bayern Under-19



Torino FC



King Faisal Babes FC



Fantomas Kumasi



Samuel Kuffour's achievements

The legendary number 4 Reds player is known for one of Bayern's biggest losses, just as he is known for the club's success. While fans still remember Bayern Munich's 1999 UEFA Champions League defeat, so are his multiple championship wins. Have a look at this summary of his awards and titles.

Who was the Ghanaian player who played for Bayern Munich?
Samuel Kuffour holds the UEFA Champions League trophy in celebration after winning against FC Valencia on May 23, 2001. Photo by Pressefoto Ulmer\Ullstein Bild.
Source: Getty Images
  • 2001 BBC African Footballer of the Year
  • 2001, 1999, 1998 Footballer of the Year - Ghana
  • 2001 UEFA Champions League Winner
  • 2005, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1997 German Champion
  • 2005, 2003, 2000, 1998 German Cup Winner
  • 1991 Under-17 World Cup Champion - Ghana
  • 2001 Intercontinental Cup Winner
  • 2004, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997 German League Cup Winner

What happened between Sammy Kuffour and Oliver Kahn?

Kuffour and Oliver Kahn, Bayern Munich's legendary goalkeeper, shared a special relationship on and off the pitch. During a 2001 UEFA Champions League match against Manchester United, Sammy performed life-saving CPR on Kahn when he collapsed on the pitch. On September 4th, 2023, Oliver Khan publicly celebrated Sammy's birthday by commemorating his ultimate show of friendship.

Who is Oliver Kahn in Bayern Munich?
F.C. Bayern Munich players Oliver Khan and Sammy Kuffour (Right) celebrate winning the Bundesliga title on May 17, 2003, at Marienplatz in Munich, Germany. Photo by Stuart Franklin.
Source: Getty Images

How much is Samuel Kuffour's net worth?

Not only is Kuffour one of the richest African footballers, but he is also one of the richest people in Ghana in 2023. His net worth is estimated at $40 million. The six-time German League Cup winner owns several buildings in Ghana, including a seven-storey structure named after his deceased mother, Gloria Abena Atea.

Final word

As one of the most influential people in African football, Samuel Kuffour's influence is still felt across the continent decades after his retirement. His role as a sports pundit also promotes the game's growth in the continent.

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Ciku Njuguna photo
Ciku Njuguna
Ciku Njuguna is a journalist with 3 year’s experience in content creation based in Kenya. She currently covers sports personnel as well as team biographies.