Onyango-Khune comparisons are unfair, says Mamelodi keeper Mweene

Zambian legendary keeper Kennedy Mweene lost his first place between the sticks to Onyango and while he has chosen to be diplomatic in the debate, his and Onyango's coach last month openly declared the Ugandan skipper the best on the continent.

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FOOTBALL | Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene says people who compare Denis Onyango and Itumeleng Khune are being “unfair”.

Comparisons between the two shot-stoppers have been made on many occasions by supporters of Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs, but it escalated when Onyango was named in the 2018 Africa Best XI last week for a third consecutive year.

Sendo Cleaners

Khune, on the other hand, can only dream about such a feat and has been left tagging on domestic accolades voted for by South African soccer fans and journalists.

Sundowns fans suggested Onyango was the better goalkeeper because of the recognition he has been getting on the continent, while Chiefs supporters had their say on Khune’s achievements on the local front.

Amakhosi skipper Khune joined in on the conversation on social media and posted a picture with the four Goalkeeper of the Season awards he has won over the years, but also said he and Onyango should be appreciated and not compared.

Tweeting after the comparisons were made, Khune urged fans stop hating saying “we are a big happy family and country and we support Onyango on his achievement. Let us celebrate him without comparing to any goalkeeper in the South Africa.”

Zambian legendary goalkeeper Mweene says comparing the two is unnecessary.

“Every goalkeeper has his own qualities and you cannot compare Khune and Denis. If people want to do that, then they are being unfair. Khune has his own qualities, Denis has his own qualities. They are two different goalkeepers, so I think it’s unnecessary to be comparing them. They are both good goalkeepers,” Mweene said.

The Zambian goalkeeper, though, chose to be diplomatic and appeared to urge for the comparisons to cease without being seen to take sides on the debate.

“Look, soccer fans will always talk. You know how supporters are – Sundowns supporters will say this and Chiefs supporters will say that. It’s a vibe which is created by soccer fans we must be careful as players to find ourselves involved in that.”

The former Free State Stars captain adds: “Like I said, Khune is a good goalkeeper and Denis is a good goalkeeper. They’ve got their own achievements. We heard when we were comparing, but at the end of the day you can’t compare the two.”

However, while Mweene was graceful, his and Onyango’s coach Pitso Mosimane did not mince words when he spoke out on the comparisons in December last year.

Mosimane said Uganda Cranes captain Onyango and African goalkeeper of the year is the best in Africa and there shouldn’t be any arguments about it.

“Denis is number one in Africa, let’s be honest,” Mosimane said of the 33-year-old, sticking his neck well knowing South Africa is a xenophobic nation whose citizens seek to prop up their own ahead of all else and at whatever cost.

“I am not talking about South Africa, I know it will be a problem. I am talking about Africa, continental football,” he said.

“In South Africa for Bafana Bafana, Itu is number one. If you pick Bafana Bafana there is no doubt. Once you play across the board, [African] Cup of Nations, Denis qualifies.”

Onyango captained Uganda to their second successive Nations Cup qualification without picking a ball from the back of his net. He remains the only goalkeeper yet to concede in the qualifier that has 48 countries.

“Crosses, physical presence, he is monster. He is a typical African goalkeeper. You need to tell me who is better. To be honest, who is better in Africa? Because I watch the Champions League, I watch everybody. You go to Esperance, Wydad, Al Ahly, Setif, you go on, Denis is number one in Africa,” Mosimane said.

The debate about who is the better of the two will no doubt continue as supporters fight for their club’s goalkeeper.

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