Worst Foreign Striker – Sonny Opara (No. 16)
Posted: 22 January 2015 Time: 09:53
KickOff.com’s Lovemore Moyo is counting down the 30 worst foreign strikers to grace these shores in the PSL era – and at number 16 is Orlando Pirates’ former Nigerian striker Sonny Opara.
Shingi Kawondera (30) Serge Djiehoua (29) Kabanga Tshamal (28) Norikazu Murakam (27) Bryan Aldav (26) Aubin Takutchi (25) Elton Morelato (24) Louis Agyemang (23) Rodreck Mutuma (22) Joseph Masel (21) Ibrahim Omotayo (20) Chiukepo Msowoya (19) Ibe Zitio Ogbonna (18) Ibrahim Some Salombo (17)
16 - Sonny Opara (Orlando Pirates)
Those old enough to recall the early years of the modern-day PSL will know of this Pirates striker who played with a sweat band, on which was written ‘CHIKA’.
Touted as a fox in the box when brought to the country by Shaibu Amodu in 1997, but he turned out to be no better than any of Andries Sebola, Jerry Sikhosana, Bruce Ramokadi and Simon Magagula, who all scored more goals than him that season.
The Nigerian forward played for Pirates during 1997/98 and, with the obvious influence of then Bucs coach Amodu, he got lots of game-time but only scored three League goals in 18 starts, plus another two in cup competitions which included the Rothmans Cup, BOB Save Super Bowl and the CAF Champions League.
Most of his goals came against clubs that were in the bottom half that season like Moroka Swallows, Vaal Professionals and Hellenic, and by the time Amodu was replaced by Viktor Bondarenko at the start of the following season, Opara was already back in Lagos.
Even if he had stayed at Pirates for the 1998/99 season the reality is that he would have fallen stood further behind in the queue as The Bucs had added Sibusiso Zuma and Phumlani Mkhize to their ranks.