The former Bayern Munich man who believes he was unfairly denied those awards placed second on both occasions.
In 1999, he lost to Arsenal and Nigerian forward Nwankwo Kanu despite having an impressive season with the Bavarians. Bayern Munich that season won the German league and lost the champions league final to Manchester United.
Two years later, the center back enjoyed yet another impressive season with Bayern Munich, he won the treble (Bundesliga, Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup), but yet again, he lost the African player of the year award. This time to Senegal and Lens winger El-Hadji Diouf.
Speaking in an interview with Goal.com, Sammy Kuffour expressed his disappointment for not winning those individual laurels.
“I think I should have won the two of them,” Kuffour tolf Goal on Saturday, “because in 1999, Kanu was injured for [almost] the whole year. He scored a hat-trick [against Chelsea] but how many games did he play? Last time, he and I were debating, we were talking about it.
“Kanu and I go a long way, we have been very good friends. We were discussing the issue and it turned into laughter. For me, I think I deserved to win in 1999. Even the guy who came third, [Ibrahima] Bakayoko [of Mali] told me I deserved to win it.
“In 2001, even for the BBC African Player of the Year, El-Hadji Diouf was not even part of it. It was me, Mohammed Kallon of Sierra Leone and Samuel Eto’o. So why should El-Hadji Diouf win [the Caf award]?
“If you become the African Player of the Year, they [Caf] will call you to tell you. You have to choose the venue and date. And I did that: I chose the venue and date. Even today, a lot of people ask about that; they were shocked. How?
“You play Africa Cup of Nations in January and you didn’t win the trophy. I won the league, FA Cup, the Champions League, the Inter-continental Cup – I was the [Man of the Match], I was the best defender in the German league, so how? I don’t know. I don’t think about it. We talk about it and we laugh – me and my children.”