Former Uganda Cranes goal keeper Dennis ‘Masinde’ Onyango has revealed the reasoning behind his decision to retire from the National Football team.
The 2016 African based player of the year decided that it was time to hang his Cranes boots following 16 years of devoted service were he amassed 79 caps.
Early this week the 35-year old jetted in to the country and he along with a delegation of FUFA top honochos were hosted by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at State house in Entebbe.
The first citizen and his wife-Janet Kataha Museveni gifted the net-minder a brand new Pajero fuel guzzler as a token of appreciation for his service in national team colours.
While facing the Cameras on NTV’s pressbox, Onyango spoke in glowing terms of the President’s decision to appreciate his efforts.
“I am one of the previledged players that have been honoured. I dont remember anyother being recognised by the president so its a plus for me and everything has the beginning and I hope that the rest will be recognised as well. We have seen Athletes being honoured, so am humbled.” The simling Onyango said.
He also went a notches high and responded to loose talk the Pajero car was bought using Taxpayer’s money.
“You will say that its tax payers money but I pay taxes as well.”
Onyango was further quizzed about the famous voice audio that circulated like wild fire days running up to his retirement.
The voice, that was claimed to be Onyango’s, was heard scoffing at FUFA and it’s President Moses Magogo for swindling player’s remunerations.
Surprisingly, afew days later, Onyango, through his agent wrote to FUFA informing them how he had retired from the national team.
Onyango says that his intentions to retire were not connected to the leaked audio but rather it was something that he had contemplated about, for some time.
“That was a conversation between me and another player, so you can only judge me after hearing the whole audio. You don’t know how the conversation started to know what forced me to say what I said.
“I didn’t retire because of the audio, like I said earlier, this was decision I was waiting to take ever since we were in Egypt and unfortunately there were issues. Mckinstry came in and I had to continue taking on the boys but when I failed to deliver a third consecutive return to AFCON, I had to make way for the new generation espescially the goalkeepers because we have many including Watenga and Jamal, Odongkara, Lukwago.
“The audio was not made for public hearing which means it cant be the reason for my retirement.
“I had put it (retiring) on hold. And I had told the boys while we were in Malawi that I am leaving.”
When asked to shed light on his relationship with FUFA boss Magogo, Onyango sounded unequivocal.
“Like any other relationship, your wife or other friends, such things happen and you always reconcile and move on.”
For his glittering career between the posts, it’s certain that Onyango’s has faced as many forwards and names Liverpool duo Mo Salah and Sadio Mane as two best strikers he has ever faced. The other is Former Benin striker Razak Omotoyosi.
“One of them would be Mo Salah. He is a great player and I played against him even when he was still a young man when coach Micho used to take us in Egypt to play friendlies. I have watched him on many occasions.
“The other one is Sadio Mane. He was fantastic in the World Cup Qualifiers at Namboole and he is still one of the best.
“How can I forget Omotoyosi ? He was a fantastic player”.
Onyango also reserved glowing praise to Cranes goalkeeping coach Fred Kajoba who he believes is the “right man for the job”.
“He( Fred Kajoba) wished others, he had already made goalkeeping a very stromg department. I will miss him a lot. I believe he is still the right man for the job, he is good at nurturing youngsters. He knows how to handle all situations because trained us the same despite ny age differences with the rest of the goalkeepers. It gave us good competition. I will miss him as a person, as a friend, a father also a goalkeeping coach.
Despite retiring from the national team, Onyango continue with his playing career at Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa.