Football is a sport that divides opinions especially when it comes to issues of who is the best player over the other.
It’s interesting to note that the argument over who was better between Pele and Maradona still rages on while the debate on who is better between the World’s two finest players at the moment between Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo looks like one that won’t end soon either.
In today’s column, Ismael Kiyonga brings in another debate on the domestic scene by naming his Uganda’s best XI players in their respective positions in the past 12 years (since 2000) and why he thinks so.
Lets get started:
GK: DENIS ONYANGO:
The gigantic custodian beats the likes of Sam Kawalya, Posnet Omwony and Ibrahim Mugisha to the slot just for a reason that is consistence.
Forget the game in Benin where he swallowed four unbelievable goals, the Mamelodi Sundowns goalie has been reliable between the posts ever since he came to scene in CECAFA 2005 when he helped Villa win the title without conceding a goal.
He has sometimes kept the Cranes in games single handedly with his saves and command of his line. Games against Kenya and Guinea Bissau away are clear testimony to this.
RB: PHILLIP OBWINY:
Ugandans tend to forget easily but very few can forget this lad.
The former Express FC and SC Villa defender always possesed both sides of the game. He was good defensively but had the ability to offer the team numbers in attack.
His dead ball expertise also gave Uganda a reliable source of goals. Who will ever forget that winner against Ghana in 2003 at Namboole? Only Simeon Masaba comes close to this legend.
CB: TIMOTHY BATABAIRE:
He was as hard as a rock and a colossus at the heart of defence.
His tackling, aerial ability and man marking skills would even make Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic smile. He beats current national team captain Andy Mwesigwa and former Express FC Congolese born defender Bana Zidane to the position.
CB: IBRAHIM SSEKAGYA:
He is a living legend and nobody comes close to him in this regard.
A good leader and reader of the game. He made playing in defence look easy and rarely put a foot wrong. I rank him in that class of ball playing central defenders. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Alesandaro Nesta and Fernando Hierro.
LB: JOSEPH NESTROY KIZITO:
I have seen him have a bad game in his life. Even when the team was playing poorly, Kizito was always on top of his game.
He is solid defensively and provides the team with more attacking options with his marauding skills on the left flank. Who will ever forget his battle against then South Africa stars Sibusiso Zuma and Steven Pienaar?
He is a rare breed for defender and many team mates nick named him “Nesta” in referance to the Italian legend.
MF: NOAH KASULE BABADI:
He was the heart and soul of team in his prime. He is the only genuine defensive midfielder the national team has had in recent years.
The stocky Babadi was aggresive, tireless and his ball winning and interception of the opponents moves always made him stand out.
He beats current FUFA CEO Edgar Watson and Johnsons Bagoole to the slot.
MF: HAKIM MAGUMBA:
Ever since he unceremoniously quit the game, the national team has failed to fill the void he left.
He was fast and his pace unsettled opponents. His defence splitting passes were from another planet and no wonder strikers like Hassan Mubiru and Andrew Mukasa who played with him bagged a lot goals.
Current Villa striker Herman Wasswa who trained with Magumba last season at the club once told me that he is the best play maker he has ever since and envied those that played in the same team with him. “I can score at will with him in the team”, he said.
He beats Jamil Kyambadde and Assan Bajope to the slot.
RW: PHILLIP SSOZI:
The former SC Villa and APR winger beats Vincent Kayizzi and Joseph Kabagambe to the slot.
Unlike the duo, Ssozi had the ability to beat his marker at will and his crossing was brilliant. Given that he was left footed, he also provided the team with numbers in attack whenever he blind folded his opponent.
He was also good in dead ball situations.
LW: DAVID OBUA:
He is the undisputed king. Many hate him for his controversy but Obua was class it came to the pitch.
He scored and created goals as well from all angles. Who will ever dismiss his hat trick against Niger and his goal against Guinea Bissau? Obua is a legend.
FWD: HASSAN MUBIRU:
He is the most talented striker of his generation no doubt. He could create as well score goals.
The goals might have dried up towards the end of his illustrious career but his contribution to the team was imminent. He could pass, dribble, use both feet and scored goals from all angles.
FWD: GEOFREY SSERUNKUMA:
He has scored more goals than any other striker on the current national team. He beats Andrew Mukasa to the slot just because Fimbo never had many games for Uganda between that time due to sickness.
However, Sserunkuma is a goal poacher despite being overlooked by the technical teams that have managed the national team between this period.
The above players make my best xi for the past 12 years and would prefer a 4 4 2 system for my team.
GK – Goal Keeper.
LB – Left back
RB – Right back
CB – Centre back
FWD – Forward
MF – Midfielder.
Who would make your best xi?
Email: email@example.com, Twitter: @kiyongaismael