Capradossi makes compelling case

Capradossi was impregnable. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

What you need to know:

Elio Capradossi born in Uganda to an Italian father and Congolese mother stood out.

The use of naturalized players remains a contentious issue for many a nation.

And for the less established footballing nations like Uganda the issue is often divisive.

From Sweden-based Kayongo Mutumba who debuted for the Cranes in 2012 to Uche Ikpeazu Mubiru who has thrice turned down Uganda’s advances, many football stakeholders have rarely warmed up to naturalised players.

But as international football returned to Namboole as the Cranes defeated Botswana in a 2026 World Cup qualifier after a close to five year absence, there was little debate about which Cranes player impressed the sizeable crowd most at Namboole on Friday evening.

Capradossi is on everyone's lips. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

Elio Capradossi born in Uganda to an Italian father and Congolese mother stood out.

And for a Cranes team not blessed with size, his 6ft 1in light-skinned frame immediately stood out as he was named to start alongside Halid Lwalirwa in central defence.

He wasted no time in trying to impose his game when he attempted a complex pass infield when Isaac Muleme seemed the safe option to the left of the Cranes defence within the opening five minutes.

That could have been his worst decision as his composure, anticipation, passing and drive sparkled through to help initiate attacks when many of his more established colleagues most especially his centre back partner Lwalirwa seemed devoid of ideas.

Fans are sending a clear message. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

There was also time for the multiple capped former Italy youth international to direct a shot on target just after the hour mark from a corner kick.

A timely last-ditch intervention as Botswana attempted to force an equalizer was also a notable contribution for the former Roma, Spezia and Lecco centre back.

Cranes fans will be hoping for more of the same against Algeria on Monday.