Magid Musisi might be dead, but his legacy is intact as far as Ugandan football is concerned. The burly striker is regarded as one of Uganda’s greatest footballers ever to grace the game.
Musisi, who passed away 17 years ago, would have celebrated his 56th birthday on September 15, 2023. A few weeks back during the weekly sports talk show Akaati k’emizannyo on CBS 89.2FM, a caller challenged me and my colleague Haruna Kyobe to put the record straight on who is the real Uganda Cranes top goal scorer.
This seemed like a hard nut to crack due to the absence of official player biodata and statistics. The caller’s contention was that Fufa continues to list Cranes striker and skipper Emma Okwi as the country’s top scorer with 28 goals from 95 caps, followed by Farouk Miya with 23 goals in 79 caps, while former striker and skipper Geoffrey Massa comes in third with 22 goals from 72 caps.
Incidentally, Musisi is placed fourth with 20 goals in 29 caps. In fact, the top-10 list is dominated by players who featured for The Cranes from the 2000s.
Due to the scanty information in the Ugandan sport, I and Kyobe spent almost a week searching for data to establish who the Uganda Cranes top goal scorer is.
We were not surprised to discover that no one beats Musisi, the former SC Villa and Ugandan football star, who donned the Uganda Cranes jersey from June 1987 to July 2000.
Musisi scored 35 goals in 50 caps, making him the country’s undisputed top goal scorer. Musisi made his Uganda Cranes debut on June 27, 1987, during a 1988 Olympic qualifier against Mozambique at Nakivubo stadium. He and Phillip Omondi grabbed a brace each in the 4-1 win.
His last time to feature for the Uganda Cranes was July 15, 2000, during the 2002 Afcon qualifier against Malawi. Musisi scored one of the goals in a 2-1 win.
Musisi also transferred his huge talent to the Uganda Premier League, where he scored 141 goals, and that record was only bettered by Hassan Mubiru, who scored 148 goals.
It is without doubt that Musisi would have scored many more goals for The Cranes had he not missed several matches in his 13-year Cranes career, especially during the period he was in the paid ranks.
For example, he missed seven Cecafa Cup events (1988, 92, 94, 95, 96, 99 and 2000), then the 1998 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Angola, plus some international friendly encounters.
What’s more, Musisi would have improved on his Uganda Cranes goal tally if it were not his fast-lane lifestyle. For instance, he was dismissed from the Uganda Cranes camp just a day before the September 2, 2000 Afcon qualifier against Guinea.
Har- rison Okagbue, The Cranes coach at the time, dropped Musisi, Lulenti Kyeyune and Sharif Samanya after they sneaked out of Cranes residential training for a drinking spree.
Olympic qualifiers: Four goals in four matches
World Cup qualifiers: One goal in four matches
Afcon qualifiers: 11 goals in 17 matches
Cecafa Cup: 12 goals in 17 matches
Kuwait Islamic Games: Two goals in four matches
International friendlies: Five goals in four matches
*This makes it 35 goals in 50 caps.