Uganda Cranes goalkeeper ,also Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper ,Denis Onyango says he has been inspired to work even harder after he was named with an elite group of players in the Africa Best XI team for 2018.
He took to social media to share the great news in a short post saying ” IF U BELIEVE IT, U CAN DO IT ”.
The post was accompanied by a picture of him standing next to other award winners including Mo Salah (who won African Best Football player) with each holding his award.
'' IF U BELIEVE IT, U CAN DO IT '' ???????????????????. pic.twitter.com/Obs9xTwUUB
— Denis Onyango ???????? (@masindeonyango) January 9, 2019
The Ugandan is the only player in the Best XI who is playing on the continent, teaming up with European superstars such as Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kalidou Koulibaly and Mohamed Salah, who was named African Player of the Year at the awards which were held in Senegal on Tuesday night.
Onyango has helped Uganda book a spot at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a game to spare and has not conceded a goal in the qualifying campaign. He was also a key member as Sundowns lifted an unprecedented eight Absa Premiership trophy.
It’s the third time in a row Onyango is being named in the Best XI, a clear sign that he is one of the best keepers on the continent.
“Of course it means a lot to me, the club and the national team, because being recognised in the Best XI shows that I have done well with both club and country. So for me it’s an honour to be part of this history and it gives me more motivation as a goalkeeper to work hard because you don’t know who is watching and people recognise you when you perform. It keeps me going in the goalkeeping department,” he said last night.
“It’s an inspiration to other people out that there you can do it, as long as you do it on the field. You must always give your best.”
Onyango says he will be aiming to make the Best XI for a fourth straight time in 2019.
“I’ll be aiming to be in the Best XI for a fourth straight time, but it also comes with hard work and I try to focus on my goalkeeping department.”
Ugandans, including President Yoweri Museveni , are happy with Onyango for his achievement .
President Museveni took to twitter to congratulate his ‘son’ for the achievement and for lifting the Uganda flag so high, saying the country is proud of him.
I congratulate my son @masindeonyango for being named in Africa's best XI football team at the #CAFAwards18 in Dakar, Senegal. There's no doubt his goal-keeping skills have contributed immensely to Uganda's recent footballing success, and as a country, we are proud of him. pic.twitter.com/d6OEpO6Sxu
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) January 9, 2019
Winners at the 2018 Confederation of African Football (CAF)
Player of the Year: Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool/ENG)
Women’s player of the Year: Chrestinah Kgatlana (South Africa)
Youth player of the Year: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)
Coach of the Year: Herve Renard (Morocco)
Women’s coach of the Year: Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
National team of the year: Mauritania
Women’s national team of the year: Nigeria
Goal of the Year: Chrestinah Kgatlana (South Africa)
Africa All Stars
Denis Onyango (Uganda); Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast), Medhi Benatia (Morocco), Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal); Thomas Partey (Ghana), Naby Keita (Guinea), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria); Sadio Mane (Senegal), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Mohmaed Salah (Egypt)