There aren’t many players in the league currently that possess the game intellect and enormous skill of Yusuf Ssozi especially when concerning the ability for one to assert themselves in his central midfield position and dictate the flow of the game.
The Police FC anchorman does this duty to perfection and if injuries weren’t a big part of his career, we would probably be waxing lyrical about his prowess in the Ugandan top flight league.
The unprecedented injury he suffered back in the 2019/2020 season, that saw his career agonizingly take an unfathomable plummet, did by all means halt his development. Picking himself back from this scare has since come with lots of challenges.
We caught up with him for a simple chat and the conversation below provides the little insights in his journey to playing the beautiful game and his future prospects:
The-SportsNation: Ssozi, what are your childhood memories?
Yusuf Ssozi: My memories really start with my mother who showed unimaginable courage and love for me. My decision to professionally take on football is courtesy of her, I vividly recount her constant appearance for my inter-house football games at Villa Park back in Primary to simply encourage her young boy to strive for greatness. What’s funny is that she did this while running away from work in the middle of the day (giggles….), she is my hero.
The-SportsNation: How did you start playing football?
Yusuf Ssozi: My journey to the game started at St Peter & Paul Junior School which was later followed with a learning adventure at Villa Academy under coach Paul Nkata and Ibrahim Kilya. I was only eleven years old then but I feel their work in mentoring my comrades and i helped build the good footballers you now see.
The-SportsNation: What is your best and worst moment as a footballer?
Yusuf Ssozi: The best moment has to definitely be the previous year when I got the rare chance of wearing the Uganda Cranes jersey in a CHAN qualifier match against Burundi, the thought of it still gives me goosebumps. Representing one’s country is always a dream come true for any player.
The worst on the other hand was the nasty meniscus tear in my knee still in 2020 towards the CECAFA competition and I had to sit out for nine months (glimances in agony…..). Missing both the CECAFA and CHAN was too much for me to stomach.
The-SportsNation: Which people do you thank for your football career?
Yusuf Ssozi: My Mum takes precedent because she started it all, Mrs Nantongo Aziida has also been instrumental along with coaches: Nkata Paul, Allan kabonge, Oporot Martin, Ssebucu Eddie, Olaki Francis, Ivan Mineart (Belgian) who signed me at AFC leopards after just watching me play in a single game, coach Ayala and mostly importantly amongst the coaches, Abdallah Mubiru who has been a father figure to me. He maintains utmost belief in me and I don’t take that for granted.
The-SportsNation: Who is your best friend at Police and why?
Yusuf Ssozi: I like to think of myself as a friendly guy and one that cooperates with everyone. I will however have to name two people; Rukundo Denis (left) and Kayongo Samuel who have been instrumental to my development at the club, they unconditionally push me to the limit and often demand a lot from me in terms of ambition. They often love to say that we as professional players ought to always think outside the box.
The-SportsNation: You have played in Zambia and Kenya, how do those leagues compare with UPL?
Yusuf Ssozi: My time in Zambia back in 2018 was an eye opener to different demands in football, they play at a high intensity and use a lot of energy when playing the game. Their preference is players with massive workrate.
The Kenyans on the other hand play a relatively slow game and often prioritize defence given their fears with conceding goals. Their league is however organized enough.
The-SportsNation: Who is the best player you have played with and why?
Yusuf Ssozi: That’s quite simple, (smiles softly…) Muzamiru Mutyaba is my pick. I recall first playing with him at Kampala University in my first year at the institution. Watching him play gave me a schooling I had never thought about. I had personally never seen anyone use the ball the way he did.
The-SportsNation: Who is the hardest opponent you have faced?
Yusuf Ssozi: Tough!!!… (takes a loud breath…), I will still choose Mutyaba Muzamiru. I clearly remember my time with Paidha Black Angels back in 2018, he single handedly bullied us as a team and stood up to be counted when he broke the deadlock and got KCCA their maiden win in Zombo. It’s the hardest defeat I ever had to swallow considering that the game was close.
The-SportsNation: Who is the best coach you have been under?
Yusuf Ssozi: It has to honestly be coach Abdallah Mubiru. You learn alot working with him because of his football intellect and patience towards players.
The-SportsNation: What are your targets next season and coming seasons ahead?
Yusuf Ssozi: That’s a very interesting question because i have a wish list ready (laughs widely….) my plan and prayer is to recover my form and give the best to Police FC, getting into the Uganda Cranes Head Coach’s plans with the World Cup qualifiers on the horizon and who knows, maybe I can get a deal outside the country.
- Subscribe to Yusuf Ssozi’s Youtube channel here
The player has seen his football adventure take him to FUFA Big League side Lweza FC who joined the top flight in the 2014-2015 season, Nairobi City Stars in Kenya , AFC Leopards still in Kenya, Kalulushi Modern Stars in Zambia before returning to the country with Paidha Black Angels in 2018 where he would later leave to join his current bosses Police FC.
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