Soccer can take you places, Just ask the guys on the list below. They started out as ordinary Kenyans but football changed their lives. They are now global superstars, all thanks to kicking a ball around the field.
1. Dennis Oliech.
Oliech is one of the most celebrated Kenyan footballers. He came from nothing and was educated from his mum’s fish business. Oliech started playing football for Dagoretti Santos in his earlier years, then Mathare United. He went on to play in France for FC Nantes and Auxerre as well as in Qatar. He’s now scheduled to return to France in January.
2. Robert Mambo.
Mambo went from playing in local teams such as Kenya Pipeline and Coast Stars to European teams such as Örebro SK, BK Häcken and K.A.A. Gent, He was also a former manager of Swedish club Dalkurd FF.
3. Arnold Origi.
Origi played for Mathare United and Tusker in his home country before joining Moss, where fellow Kenyan John Muiruri was already playing. After a short loan spell with Fredrikstad, and a brief stop at Ull/Kisa he joined Lillestrøm in 2013 and is currently their first choice goalkeeper. He has also changed his nationality to Norwegian.
4. John Mo Muiruri.
John “Mo” Muiruri is a veteran who still plays for Moss FK in Norway as a midfielder. He was one of the talented midfield quartet of the Kenya along with McDonald Mariga, Robert Mambo, and Titus Mulama. He led Kisii School to two national championships before graduating in 1997. Muiruri has played 60 international matches for Kenya as well as 13 matches at U-21 and U-23 level. He appeared at the 2004 African Cup of Nations.
5. McDonald Mariga.
Mariga plays as a defensive midfielder for Spanish club Real Oviedo and the Kenya national team. He made history as the first Kenyan footballer to play in the UEFA Champions League, for Inter Milan on 16 March 2010. Mariga started his playing career at Ulinzi Stars before moving first to Tusker FC and then to Kenya Pipeline while still at school. Mariga was a member of the Kamukunji High School ‘Golden Boys’, which also included Kenyan striker Dennis Oliech, who won two consecutive National Championships in 2002 & 2003. He moved to Sweden shortly after and the rest is history.
6. Victor Wanyama.
Does he need any introduction? Wanyama played for Kenyan Premier League clubs Nairobi City Stars and AFC Leopards before moving to Europe. He became the first ever Kenyan player to score in the UEFA Champions League when he scored the first goal in Celtic’s 2–1 win over Barcelona on 7 November 2012. On 11 July 2013, Wanyama moved to Premier League club Southampton for £12.5 million making him the most expensive player sold by a Scottish club. After a few seasons at Southampton, he moved to Tottenham where he now plies his trade.
7. Michael Olunga.
Olunga plays for Spanish La Liga side FC Girona. He has even been nominated for the African Footballer Of The Year award. Just two years he was at Gor Mahia, terrorizing local teams and now he’s playing against the likes of Messi.