26th April 2018
Ibrahim Sunday: Ghana's First and Africa's 2nd Football Winner in 1971
Revisiting History: (29/09/17)
Ibrahim Sunday of Ghana also made football history by becoming the first ever African footballer to appear in the Bundesliga in Germany.
Born in Koforidua, Eastern Region, Ghana, Sunday started his career playing for local club Kumasi Asante Kotoko, of which he became the captain. (Photo: Ibrahim Sunday).
In 1970, he and his club won the African Cup of Champions, predecessor of the CAF Champions League, the first international title obtained by the club. A midfielder, he played the majority of his career for Ghanaian club Asante Kotoko, and was also a member of the Ghana national team, participating in two Africa Nations Cup tournaments. In 1971, he won the African Footballer of the Year award.
In 1975, Sunday moved to Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga, where in two seasons he barely had any playing time, appearing in only one league match against Rot-Weiß Essen in December 1976. This, however, made him the first ever African footballer to appear in the Bundesliga.
International Playing and Coaching career
Sunday was first called to the Ghana national team Black Stars in 1966, and his first official international tournament was the 1968 African Cup of Nations, where he scored a goal against Laurent Pokou's Ivory Coast in the semifinal as Ghana won 4-3. The Black Stars lost the final to DR Congo.
At the 1970 Nations Cup, there was a rematch of the semifinal from two years before, Ghana again defeated the Ivorians winning 2–1, with Sunday scoring the opening goal. However, they lost in the final again, that time to hosts Sudan.
The 1970 final was Sunday's last Nations Cup match, as Ghana failed to qualify for the 1972, 1974, and 1976 continental tournaments. Ghana then qualified for the 1972 Olympic tournament in Munich, and Sunday was part of the Olympic squad.
As a coach, Sunday managed his former club Asante Kotoko, leading them to their second African Cup of Champions victory in 1983. He also managed Abuakwa Susubiribi and Ashanti Goldfieds of Ghana, FC 105 Libreville of Gabon and Ivorian club Africa Sports of Abidjan, whom he also led to the continental title in 1992.