Hassan ‘Figo’ Mubiru was one of the most humble, hard-working guys in football.
He was a pleasure to watch – even for rival fans, they wish they had a player of his quality at their clubs.
Despite all the arrogance he had on the ball, Mubiru was camera shy and rarely spoke to the media but in a rare interview, the former SC Villa, Express and Uganda Cranes forward talked about his sour relationship with partner Andrew Mukasa Fimbo among other issues.
Despite the two players helping the Jogoos to a number of titles including a league and cup double in 1998, they never liked each other and rarely talked.
“Let me say this for the first time, I and Mukasa were never friends,” Mubiru told Extra Digest.
“We never spoke to each other and surely didn’t like each other but on the pitch, we played well together and I set up lots of goals for him,” he added before explaining how it all started.
“When I joined Villa, I found Andrew at Villa Park. One day while at Golden Table, his mother came to me and asked if I was Hassan Mubiru, when I said yes, she said – so you are the one who is taking over the throne from my son? Okay. You will see.”
Mubiru was left astonished and from then, the dislike for each other escalated.
Nevertheless, Figo as fondly known among the fans says he never wishes bad for his ex-teammate and challenged both Villa and Express to ensure they treat Fimbo.
“It’s sad seeing him in a state he is in at the moment and I feel bad that his former clubs (Villa and Express) haven’t done much to give him treatment yet he scored goals and won trophies for them.”
Why he left Villa for Express FC
Mubiru’s transfer from SC Villa to rivals Express FC remains arguably the biggest in the history of Ugandan football as many a Blue fan labelled him a traitor.
But the soft spoken Mubiru reveals why he quit Villa Park for Wankulukuku.
“I did it for father,” he said. “He was a staunch Express FC fan and always wanted to see his son feature for the team so I never wanted him to die without seeing me play for his favourite club,” he explained.
Praises for Paul Hasule
In his glittering career, Mubiru played under lots of coaches but his pick for the best ever is the Late Paul Hasule (RIP).
“He was a genius. I learnt a lot from him as a forward despite him being a defender during his playing days. The best coach ever.”
HASSAN MUBIRU FACTFILE:
- Played for seven clubs – Lukuli United, Police FC, SC Villa, Express FC, APR FC (Rwanda), Silkenborg (Denmark) and Victors FC.
- Won two league titles with SC Villa (1998 and 1999)
- Won five Uganda Cup titles with SC Villa (1998), Express FC (2001, 2003, and 2006) and then Victors FC (2010)
- Won the golden boot three times with Express FC (2001, 2002 and 2003)
- Won Hedex Cup with SC Villa (1999)
- He ranks as one of the strikers to have scored 100+ league goals in super league history and statics showed that by 2005, he had scored over 147 league goals, the highest by a single player in the league.
- Won two Cecafa titles with the Cranes (2000 & 2003) and the Castle cup in 2000