It was not easy for coaches at Mamelodi Sundowns to convince Patrice Motsepe that Denis Onyango was going out on loan in 2013.
The former Uganda Cranes goalkeeper was sent out on loan to Bidvest Wits by then head coach Pitso Mosimane to the surprise of the club’s president Motsepe.
“Onyango is a great African player and I must admit that I did not agree with the coaches sending him out on loan back then,” the CAF President said in a press conference at Serena Hotel on Thursday.
“I believed in him and the coaches as well did but they said there were better goalkeepers at the club than him by then and the option was to send him on loan to have more playing time.”
“From the technical point of view, I could not help him stay but I am only proud that he humbly accepted went out worked hard, and returned even better from when he left the club.”
“He is a good example of perseverance regards what one wants to achieve in life,” Motsepe added.
Upon returning to Sundown, the 37-year-old goal minder has gone on to have an incredible career.
Onyango has won 14 honors with the South African giants: six Premier Soccer League titles, one CAF Champions League, CAF Super Cup, and MTN 8 apiece.
Three Nedbank Cups and two Telkom Knockouts. “He has built himself a legacy at the club and in South Africa, we are all proud of him, especially Ugandans,” Motsepe noted.
The former Uganda Cranes captain is the most successful and recognized footballer in the history of the Premier Soccer League having won nine titles a number more than any other player.
Before winning the six PSL titles with Sundowns, he had won three with SuperSport United.
Individually, the former SC Villa custodian was named the 2016 African-based African Player of the year.
He was also ranked as the tenth best goalkeeper in the world in the 2016 list compiled by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics.
Onyango has also been named the PSL best goalkeeper twice in the 2015/16 and 2020/21 seasons.
He is also targeting yet another milestone where he could become the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets in the history of the PSL.
Onyango is currently on 123 clean sheets, only two adrift of Kaizer Chiefs’ Itumeleng Khune who is on 125 clean sheets.