The honour of being named the best goalkeeper in Africa has motivated Mamelodi Sundowns’ goalkeeper Denis Onyango to thrive to receive this accolade for more years to come.
The Ugandan goalkeeper was named in the Confederation of African Football’s Best XI which is appropriately called Africa’s Finest. Onyango is in great company in an XI that features Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah.
“It means a lot to me and to the club as well as the national team because being recognised as one of the best in the best XI shows that I have done well for both the club and country,” Onyango said. “It’s an honour to be a part of this history. It gives me more motivation as a goalkeeper to work harder because you don’t know who is watching and people recognise you when you perform. It keeps me going. I am working hard to be in the Team of the Year all the time but at the same time it is an inspiration to all the other people that you can do it, as long as you perform on the field. You must always do your best.”
The honour comes with it’s challenges because when you’re the best in the continent, every opponent that you face will come with the aim of beating the best. Sundowns felt that in the CAF Champions League after winning the tournament in 2016.
“Being the best in the continent comes with a lot of pressure and responsibility,” Mosimane said. “But there’s no way you can be at the highest level and not have any pressure. It makes me work harder and take more responsibility when I am on the field because people see me in a different light. It probably motivates the team that we’re playing against. That’s how football works. You need to always be on top of your game. Honours like this, they take the best out of me.”