Uganda Cranes first choice goalkeeper Denis Onyango has confessed he is inspired by the legendary Egyptian shot stopper Essam El Hadary.
El Hadary made history when he became the oldest player ever to feature at the Africa Cup of Nations.
To Onyango, he has learnt a few things from the legend which ought to make him a better personality in his remaining time as a player or even as a trainer.
In an exclusive interview at the team base, Hotel Du Parc on Thursday morning, a rather composed Onyango hailed praise for the 44 year old goalie.
First, I am happy for my brother El Hadary. He is a great goalkeeper. To play at the highest level to your best needs a special heart.
He is an excellent goalie from whom we have learnt many things.
He has really inspired me on how to keep himself fit and possibly deliver to the best of my ability.
Clocked 44 years last Sunday, El Hadary did play in Egypt’s goalless draw with a very physical Mali outfit on Tuesday night.
El Hadary’s introduction in the first half meant he easily beat the record set by his former teammate on the national team Hossam Hassan who featured in the AFCON while 39 years, five months and 24 days.
Onyango still has the hope that he has a lot to pass to the younger generation.
Many look at me as an inspiration but am also inspired by great personalities as El Hadary.
Onyango made pin point saves and incredible stops during Uganda Cranes 1-0 defeat to Ghana Black Stars on Tuesday.
West Ham United star player Andre Ayew beat the gangly shot stopper from 12 yards and Onyango feels saddened having conceded from the spot but he is quick to recollect himself;
Penalties are 50-50 chances of scoring.
I read him (Ayew) the wrong way and he got his kick right. Next time, it will be different.
The Mamelodi Sundowns’ player is quick to pick positives from the match against Ghana as a lee way to plan for the up coming game with Egypt.
We played well especially in the second half but did not win the game. We are looking forward yet another decent performance against Egypt.
Egypt versus Uganda match will be the second Group D match for either countries on Saturday at Port Gentil stadium.