FRISCO, Texas – MLSsoccer.com caught up with Inter Milan’s Sulley Muntari on Thursday, just before his club took on MLS side FC Dallas. The Ghanaian midfielder played four of five matches for his country in the World Cup and scored one goal in the Black Stars’ quarterfinal match with Uruguay.
Here Muntari discusses his World Cup experience, how his club team is adjusting to new head coach Rafa Benítez and Inter’s North American tour.
MLSsoccer.com: How has the tour gone for you and the team?
Muntari: It’s been good. It is our second time here in America, and it’s great seeing that we have many fans here. It’s been good, we’re happy.
MLSsoccer.com: What did you think about the US team you faced in the World Cup?
Muntari: We knew that we were going to face a strong team, because USA football – soccer – is growing faster and faster. You have great players like [Landon] Donovan and the coach’s son [Michael Bradley]. They were very good, and they gave us a hard time but we managed to win. The football here is growing faster, so maybe in two, three, maybe four year’s time they will be on top.
MLSsoccer.com: What was it like playing for Ghana in the first World Cup held in Africa?
Muntari: It was a good feeling, a special moment for us because it was held in Africa on our home soil. It was a historic one, and I was very pleased to be part of it. It was an amazing experience.
MLSsoccer.com: That heartbreaking loss to Uruguay must have been very tough for you and your team. How did you deal with it?
Muntari: It was very, very, very tough. It was ours and in a matter of seconds, it went away. That’s football; you can’t do anything about it. It’s part of life, it’s over now. We are just thinking of what’s ahead of us, the coming African Cups and World Cups and managing to do well in those. We had a good experience in South Africa.
MLSsoccer.com: Inter has a new coach this year in Benítez. Talk about the difference in coaching styles and how it has changed the way Inter plays.
Muntari: He is totally different. [José] Mourinho has his own style, and Rafa, too, has his own style. They are totally different people. Mourinho did his and he left, and now it is up to our new manager to do his, and he’s doing it. We’ve played a couple of games, and what he wants us to do, we think he is very intelligent. We are working on it to be able to do what he wants.
MLSsoccer.com: Benítez has talked about bringing in a more attacking style. Do you think the style of play has changed?
Muntari: Not really. It is the same football that we kick. Yes, maybe he wants more attacking, and we definitely want to do what he wants. We want to do what we think is going to help the team to win more trophies. He’s our new manager, and we want to do well.
MLSsoccer.com: You’ve talked about the growth of soccer in the US and it sounds like you enjoy it here. Do you see yourself ever playing in the MLS?
Muntari: Of course, yeah why not? It’s a great country and amazing people here. Definitely I want to come and play here.