Sulley Sariki Muniru is no doubt a hugely talented player, but one who has spent his whole professional career searching for the ultimate recognition he deserves.
Certainly, Sariki has failed to reach quarter of what his elder brother Sulley Muntari has achieved in his illustrious career though he is also a gem in his own right.
The last born of Hajia Kande, Sariki started his career with Young Missiles, a Colts club in Konongo Zongo owned by the late Benning Bator and his talent was so glare. Those who watched his two elder brothers Muntari and Musah at that age always pointed out that Sariki was the most talented.
With his two elder brothers already footballers, his parents wanted him to take a different route preferably work in the government sector in future but it did not take long for Sariki’s talent to pop up at Abuakwa State College.
He was the skipper of the “Abusco” team which won the Milo Second Cycle Schools football tournament during the 2009/2010 Academic year. That great “Abusco” squad also had Derrick Boateng’s junior brother Richard Boateng who plays for Spanish second tier side Alcorcon.
Spotting his talent, Liberty who had a long standing good relationship with Abuakwa State College which dates back to the era of Michael Helegbe and Kelvin Amponsah who were all at the Dansoman-based club youth team but were offered scholarships to study at the Kibi based school snapped up Sariki. Right after completing his secondary education, he joined Liberty and was still playing for them even when he got admission to the University of Professional Studies.
After his exploits at Liberty, he was invited by Jose Mourinho to Real Madrid for trials in 2013 and despite excelling with the Madrid Castilla, he could not get a contract because of his age. With the help of the Portuguese manager, he secured a move to Romanian side CFR Cluj who were looking for a central midfielder to replace Senegalese Modou Sougou who had left for Marseille.
Sariki quickly established himself as one of the best central midfielders in Eastern Europe putting up some superb performances for Cluj. He spent just two years at the club and in the summer of 2015, Steua Bucharesti paid 550,000 Euros to sign him on a four-year deal.
He continued his fine form for Steua and cemented his place in the team winning man of the match against Valencia in Spain and Trencin in the Europa League. However, his contract was canceled in May 2017 after punching a team mate Florin Tanase in training grounds following a bust up and declining to go when he was invited by the club’s president for questioning.
Since parting ways with Steua, Muniru’s career has taken a nosedive and he is still fighting for recognition as he has virtually become a club-trotting player. A move to Legia Warsaw failed to go through at the last hour and he had to move to Portuguese side Tondela where he managed just four appearances and had his deal terminated.
He joined Turkish outfit Yeni Malatyaspor where he played five games and put up good performances but again got his contract terminated. He was later reported in the Turkish media to have impregnated a nightclub girl Tanja Kiran and failed to take responsibility.
He moved to Dinamo Minsk in Belarus where he played ten league games before being signed by Tambov FC in Russia. He failed to make a single appearance last season as his contract was terminated this summer with the club signing Rabiu Mohammed as replacement.
At 28, Sariki still have some few more years to hit the ground running and probably get into the limelight once again. He has joined Asante Kotoko as a free agent and that could work the magic for him with his eyes also fixed on getting a Black Stars call up.
On any good day, Sariki is a machine in midfield, he has the heart of his brother Muntari and his talent is even better. He is ambidextrous, can dribble, shoot, pass, attack as well as defend.
Undoubtedly, if Kotoko fans were swayed away by the talent of Justice Blay, then they should watch out for Sariki as he is ten times better than the Medeama player in that role.
Nevertheless, Maxwell Konadu should manage Sariki very well in order to get the best out of him because he has an attitude which is synonymous with many good players.