Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango admits pressure accompanies CAF recognition
Posted: 10 January 2019 Time: 16:55
Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango says being recognised by CAF comes with a lot of pressure and responsibility.
The Ugandan shot-stopper was included in the 2018 Africa Best XI team, with the likes of Sadio Mane, Medhi Benatia, Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who all play in top European leagues.
Onyango, who helped The Cranes qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and won the Absa Premiership title with Sundowns in 2018, was the only player based on the continent in the Best XI and it was the third consecutive time he made the team.
But Onyango says being part of the Best XI always comes with pressure because it motivates the opposition players to get the better of him.
“It comes with a lot of pressure, a lot of responbilities. There’s no way you can be at the highest level and not get pressure. So for me it makes me work harder as a person and also take more responsibility on the field, because people see me in a different picture and it motivates probably the teams we play against.
"But that’s how football works, you need to always be on top of your game and try perform. So honours like this bring the best out of me," the former SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits goalkeeper said.
Onyango, meanwhile, says other PSL keepers are capable of one day getting recognition on the continent, and has given advice on what needs to be done to get to that level.
"I can't say who is next line in the PSL, but it's all about staying focused. There are a lot of quality goalkeepers in the PSL and it's more about focusing on doing well in the Champions League, the national team level and in the [domestic] league, because you can't play in the Champions League without winning the league back home.
"For me I see a lot of potential from the goalkeepers in South Africa, but you also need support from your teammates to achieve all of this."