I am the Ankole King of Football – Paul Mucureezi

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Mucurezi Paul

The Venom star shares with us the key to his successful football journey, life at his new club Vipers SC and his stunning goal while at KCCA against Express in 2017.

I Am the Ankole king of football – Paul Mucureezi

This weeks interview features Uganda Cranes and Vipers SC’s midfielder Paul Mucureezi.

Mucureezi was born in Kabale and spent his childhood studying at Kabale Primary school, and Kigezi High School before moving to St.Mary’s Kitende for his A level.He proceeded to Uganda Christian University and graduated with Bachelors in Procurement and Logistics management.

After winning two Uganda Premier League trophies, two Uganda cup trophies and one Super Cup with KCCA, Mucureezi left the ‘Kasasiro boys’ for Mbarara city in 2018 bringing to an end a successful four years at the Lugogo based side.

In the interview, the Venom star shares with us the key to his successful football journey, life at his new club Vipers SC and his stunning goal while at KCCA against Express in 2017.

Where did your football career begin?
My football career began in Kabale during my childhood. The first club I played for was called Nyanza football club in Kabale,that was playing the regional league.

Who inspired you to play football?
Aah….my mother inspired me to play football, and she really did a great job.It’s a long story but you need to know that she is the one who did that.

Did your parents support your idea of playing football?
At first, they didn’t, mostly my dad but then later in high school he had to look at the game being supportive on the side of school fees and all that. So he got on mummy’s side and they have been supporting me together, and because of [their support], I have managed to make it this far.

Why did you decide to leave KCCA FC?
I left KCCA because my contract had run out at the club and we didn’t agree during the negotiations…..the terms weren’t favorable for me, so I couldn’t really renew my contract with the club.

Who was your best friend at KCCA?
My best friend at KCCA was Timothy Awany.We became friends since I welcomed him at the club and actually we were staying at the same location so that made us more attached to each other and we built a good relationship.

How has been life at Vipers SC since joining?
Life at Vipers is not bad. It’s a good one because Vipers is also my home.I have been there previously with St.Mary’s Kitende, so it’s really okay and very fine. I’m really enjoying it.

What do you miss about your previous clubs[KCCA and Mbarara FC]?
Well, I wouldn’t say I miss anything big at both clubs because Vipers at the moment is better than them.Maybe my fans who still support the two clubs, but then I can not say I miss anything big at these clubs….NO, NOT REALLY.

How was the feeling like to represent your country for the very first time?
As a footballer, world wide, one has to have the dream of playing for the national team, and playing for the [national team] was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I thank God that of all the opportunities that are always given to me, I never disappoint and I have always proved my worth.So I really felt great playing for my country in the national team jersey for the first time.

What have been some of the challenges you encountered in establishing yourself as the star you are today?
As a footballer and every great footballer that I know has gone through challenges while establishing themselves at the level they are at.You are in a club, everyone feels high-and-mighty, you feel out of place.That is always something faced by any other footballer.But it is up to you to handle it.

It became very hard for me when I had just joined KCCA from Mutumba Lions.It was very hard for me to fit in the team but then being a wise footballer and knowing what I want, I managed to handle the situation very well to make sure that I am what I am today.

Who is your idol?
I myself am the idle. I am my idle.

Who is your favorite teammate at Vipers SC?
Fahad Bayo is my favorite teammate at the moment.

Where did you meet your fiancée?
I met my fiancée at the university [UCU] years back.We had been friends for some good time.

How do you balance family life and football?
Family and football…. If it is family time it is family, if it is football time it is football…it’s work. There’s no big challenge over that.It’s about you knowing how to handle the two. So there’s no big deal over that.

Looking at how far you have come and what you have become, can we conclude that you are the ‘Ankole king of football’?
[Laughs]…that is a nice question. Yeah, anyway definitely, that’s the fact! It’s not bragging or anything but then I have to say that at the moment, am the ‘Ankole king of football’. I have to make sure that I work hard to stay at the top though I want my fellow young ones from Ankole to rise up and work hard and make sure they can even be better than me in the years to come or even now.

What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is fried goats meat and rice.

Who is the hardest opponent you have played against?
Simon Namwanja, a player at Wakiso Giants right now.Namwanja is the hardest player/opponent I have played against.

Which of your career goals is your favorite?
Best goal….I have so many which are my favorite, I usually at times don’t choose the best but for this time, I’ll have to say the goal in July 2017 against Express at Wankulukuku, it was really a stunner.That was a good goal. It ended 1-0 in favour of KCCA.

What advise do you give the young footballers out there who look up to you?
For the young footballers, I usually tell them that football is all about hard work and discipline. The discipline am talking of is on and off the pitch. I usually see the discipline on the pitch but off the pitch also matters a lot. I have seen most boys really mess up their football life off the pitch and they have killed their careers and haven’t been able to succeed
So young footballers out there just work hard and stay focused as you stay disciplined.

What do you look forward to with the national team?
Am looking at having more trophies with the national team and definitely cups come with good performances. I want to help the national team to be somewhere in the [FIFA] rankings, and also having good performances as a player.

What do you plan to do after retiring from active football?
With football, you have to really sit down and analyse what would be the best for you, either coaching or being a football administrator and I can make any of the two.
So I have to make a decision on what to do after my career.

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