Italian Zengo expects no favour

Tuesday June 30 2020
soccer01pix

Zengo in action for North-Eastern side during the ‘Cranes na Mutima’ tour in 2017 in Bukedea. PHOTO BY JOHN BATANUDDE

First, you all need to calm down. Yes, he is Italian but that is just about it. Any attempt to relate Stefano Mazengo Loro, easily referred to as Zengo, to his home country’s niche of football as we know it would be a set-up for possible disappointment. This is not to begrudge the 26-year-old’s opportunity to do what he can at his new club KCCA after the 13-time champions unveiled him on a two-year deal on their weekly TV show Sunday night.

It is instead to prepare and protect both fans and Mazengo against pressures that come with such unfounded expectations.

Yes, he has played some football; first here – notably with the once famous Kampala Kids League (KKL) alongside new teammate Gift Ali, and occasional local competitions as well as with university sides in Spain, the Netherlands and United Kingdom. But

While the signing of an Italian – a defensive midfielder, who boasts good passing ability and some ball work as seen in the club clip, where he entered Lugogo on a motorsport bike – should excite fans, they should also be careful not to break him, because he can only offer what he has.

Good enough, Mazengo knows this too well, and is quick to calm any wild expectations; and the man who first arrived in the country as a kid in 2006 when he could barely speak a word of English, before leaving for further studies seven years later, expects no special favours from KCCA manager Mike Mutebi.

“Let’s see what I can do,” he said on KCCA TV Show, “you know I’m a simple guy, a simple player. I know there is a lot of players on my team who have played internationally, on the continent and also outside it. “There’s also a lot of young, hungry guys. Therefore, I know that there is gonna be a lot of competition but I’m here to compete, to get some minutes and when I get my chance, I hope I do well.

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“There are players on this team who are faster than me, who are stronger than me, who are better at heading, defending, left foot, right foot, passing, long ball, short ball, and I’m aware of that. “But I’m here for a different reason, and it’s the one here (points to his head), and that is footballing intelligence, and I’m going to try to use my brain on the field to bring something different to the team.” Mazengo joins Ashraf Mugume and Charles Lwanga as the latest arrivals at KCCA as Mutebi continues building up for the new 2020/21 season.
amwanguhya@ ug.nationmedia.com

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