ASK Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso “Jingles” Mosimane about the importance of goalkeeper Denis Onyango, he will go on and on about his number one goalie.
The Ugandan international is not just any ordinary player at Downs, but a model of professionalism and he means a lot to their supporters.
At his native country, Onyango is more like a president – fans worship him.
Onyango, who will captain the Ugandan senior national team at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt, scheduled for June and July this year, made the PSL and Sundowns proud this week.
For the third time running, Onyango made it into the Africa All Star XI team at the annual Caf awards ceremony held in Dakar, Senegal, on Tuesday night.
He rubbed shoulders with reigning African Footballer of the Year, Mohamed Salah of Egypt and Liverpool and his team mate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Arsenal’s Gabonese super star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are also in the best team list.
Ugandan sports journalist, Darren Kyeyune, said Onyango is a superstar and a role model in his country.
Kyeyune said: “Onyango has scaled heights that many haven’t, and being a goalie adds spice to all his achievements as little is expected of them. His success is as a results of patience, hard work and his down to earth character, which is pays it off more.”
The top journo said that Onyango will go down in history as Uganda’s greatest player of his generation.
Kyeyune added: “He eclipses David Obua and Ibrahim Sekagya in one way. He is a top gem.”
Onyango is always modest about his countless achievements and was no different when asked how he felt about receiving yet another top award.
Onyango said: “It means a lot to me, to the club, as well as the national team. It’s an honour to be part of this history. It keeps me going in the goalkeeping department.”
The 33-year-old said Egyptian iconic goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary is his childhood goalkeeping hero.
He said: “I look up to El-Hadary, he managed to play at the highest level at the age of 45, and he was a model professional.”