Denis Onyango Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
  • Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama won the accolade in 2004 while still dubbed the CAF Champions League Player of the Year
  • Algeria’s Zaki won the African Player of the Year in 1987. By then, it was organised by France Football Magazine and not CAF.
[/media-credit] Denis Onyango is the first goalkeeper to win the CAF award for Players based in Africa Credit: Courtesy

After ascending to the honour of first Ugandan to win the CAF Champions League, Denis Onyango then became the first to play in the FIFA World Club Championships as well.

He further turned out first Ugandan to be shortlisted in the final three of any CAF awards.

It didn’t stop at that however, he also rose to be the first Ugandan to be crowned Africa’s best player – based on the continent.

And if you didn’t know, Onyango also wrote his name in African football folklore by becoming the first goalkeeper to scoop the award designed to reward players who ply their trade on the continent.

His exploits for both the national team and his club couldn’t go unnoticed as he conquered Africa with tallied 252 votes, 24 more than his club-mate, Khama Billiat of Zimbabwe with Zambian Rainford Kalaba who plays for TP Mazembe in third with 206 votes.

Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama would have made this history before but by 2004 when he won the prize, it was called the Africa Champions League Player of the Year.

[/media-credit] Vincent Enyeama would have made this history before but by 2004 when he won the prize, it was called the Africa Champions League Player of the Year. Credit: Courtesy

Since 2005, only outfield players have won it with Al Ahly and Egypt’s Mohammed Aboutrika the record winner with four times (2006, 2008, 2012 and 2013) and only him has won it more than once.

Other winners include Aboutrika’s former teammates Mohammed Barakat and Ahmed Hassan DR Congo’s Tressor Mputu, Tunisia’s Oussama Darragi and Firmin Ndombe Mubele.

Meanwhile, Onyango’s triumph means the award remains in the East of Africa as Tanzanian; Mbwana Ally Samatta won it in 2015 while plying his trade with TP Mazembe then.

[/media-credit] Mbwana Ally Samatta (L) won it in 2015 while plying his trade with TP Mazembe Credit: Courtesy

He has since earned a dream move to Belgium where he features for giants Genk and has blossomed so far.

The winners since the award inception in 2005

Year                  Player        

2016         Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns & Uganda)

2015         Mbwana Ally Samatta (TP Mazembe & Tanzania)

2014         Firmin Ndombe Mubele (AS Vita & DR Congo)

2013         Mohammed Aboutrika (Al Ahly & Egypt)

2012         Mohammed Aboutrika (Al Ahly & Egypt)

2011         Oussama Darragi (Esperance & Tunisia)

2010         Ahmed Hassan (Al Ahly & Egypt)

2009         Tressor Mputu (TP Mazembe & DR Congo)

2008         Mohammed Aboutrika (Al Ahly & Egypt)

2007         Amine Chermiti (Etoile Du Sahel & Tunisia)

2006         Mohammed Aboutrika (Al Ahly & Egypt)

2005         Mohammed Barakat (Al Ahly & Egypt)

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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