Sulley Muntari admits playing for ones country is an honour as he prepares for this month’s African Cup of Nations but concedes that it’s a struggle to leave Portsmouth with the season still on.
The Black Stars player has been in such fine form for Portsmouth in his first season but the Ghana international would be leaving the Pompey side for Africa’s flagship sporting event.
And before he leaves, the midfielder would play his last game for Portsmouth in Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie at Ipswich, before joining his colleagues in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where Ghana’s team is based ahead of the competition.
Though keen on playing on home soil, with Ghana as host of the tournament, Muntari admits he would prefer the competition to be held at a time of the year that would not affect his involvement at club level, as he told Sky Sports in an interview.
"Because we are doing so well at Portsmouth it is a bit like having to turn off the good music just because your mother has come into the room," said Muntari.
"But there is no higher honour than being picked for your country and in Ghana we have a special responsibility because we are the hosts - and one of the favourites.
"It is still hard, though, to leave your club when the results and performances have been so good.
"We can only hope that something is worked out for the future. I believe the African federation know what they are doing."