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African All Stars

Paintsil highlights Muntari benefits for Ghana Premier League champions Hearts of Oak

23:01 EAT 02/02/2022
Sulley Muntari Cagliari Pescara
The former West Ham defender touts the qualities of his ex-international teammate

Former Ghana international John Paintsil believes Sulley Muntari will bring leadership to Hearts of Oak’s set-up following a transfer to the reigning Premier League champions.

After three years unattached, former AC Milan and Inter Milan midfielder makes a return to club football after agreeing to a short-term deal announced on Tuesday.

He follows former Sunderland and Ghana legend Asamoah Gyan in a return to domestic football.

"Muntari is a leader and he is someone who doesn’t like defeat and the Hearts players have to understand that sometimes when they see him shouting and pushing them, they shouldn’t take it to heart,” Paintsil, who played together with Muntari at the 2006 and 2010 World Cup finals, told Joy Sports.

"All the Hearts of Oak players will look up to him and they’ll be expecting his leadership qualities that will help them.

“Players might feel intimidated that ‘he’s Muntari’, so they cannot tell him when there’s a mistake, but Muntari is a professional player and understands everybody.

"People who don’t know him think he’s someway but when you’re close to him, you’ll see the kind of great person he is. Aside from being a good footballer, he’s also a great human being.”

Muntari had been inactive since leaving Spanish lower division fold Albacete in 2019.

Before then, had also played for the likes of Deportivo La Coruna in Spain, Udinese and Pescara in Italy, English clubs Sunderland and Portsmouth, as well as Saudi outfit Al-Ittihad.

“He [Muntari] hasn’t featured for two years but whether two or four, if you see Muntari now you’ll be amazed," Paintsil added.

"We train every Saturday night, we play two hours nonstop and he’s able to play all those hours and he’s doing well, running up and down and shooting as usual.

"He’s a hitter, he hits from 40-yards and is still scoring goals. So, I don’t think him being without a club for two years will affect his play for Hearts. It will never have any impact on him, I know he’s fit.

“I have confidence in Muntari coming in to play for Hearts. It’s amazing, I wish him all the best and I can’t wait to see him on the field."

Hearts, currently fifth on the GPL table, are looking to win the league for the 21st time.