On Monday 27th September 2021, Harambee Stars midfielder Victor Wanyama announced his retirement from international football.
While the news came as a shocker to many, those close to the football circles knew the move was inevitable after he was snubbed in Stars World Cup Qualifiers against Rwanda and Uganda.
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So how has the player’s career panned thus far?
Wanyama started his football career with local side JMJ Youth in 2006 where he stayed for two years before having a brief stint with Kenyan Premier League sides Nairobi City Stars and AFC Leopards.
He was to move to Swedish side Helsingborg in 2007 where he represented their U21 side before Belgian side Germinal Beerschot came calling a year later. Scottish giants Celtic came calling in 2013 and this is the place where he showcased his real potential to the world.
His goal for the Bhoys when they recorded a 2-1 win over a star-studded FC Barcelona side had propelled him to stardom and it was only a matter of time before his big move to the Premier League happened.
On July 11, 2013, the combative midfielder hit the headlines after he was signed by Southampton FC for a Scottish record fee of Ksh 1.8 billion (£12.5 million). After being an important figure for the current PSG manager Mauricio Pochetino, he was to rejoin his manager at Tottenham three years later on a five-year contract for a fee of Ksh 1.6 billion (£11 million).
It was at Spurs that he did well in the Champions League when he was part of the team that lost to Liverpool 2-0 in the competition final that was held in 2019.
His equalizer in Tottenham’s 2–2 draw with Liverpool on 4 February 2018 was voted the Premier League Goal of the Month but injuries in his last days at Spurs saw him reduced to just a squad player.
With Jose Mourinho considering him surplus to requirements, Spurs were to sell the Kenyan to Major League Soccer club Montreal Impact after they denied him a chance to join Club Brugge. He stays in Montreal to date where he is the club captain.
On the international stage, the 30-year-old, who until his retirement had scored seven goals in his 64 caps for the national team, made his national debut in 2007 in a friendly against Nigeria which Kenya lost by a solitary goal. He was to be named the captain of the national team by head coach Adel Amrouche in 2013 where he took over from Stars’ great Dennis Oliech.
The last time Wanyama featured for Kenya was in the Afcon qualifiers played in November 2020 against Comoros which Harambee Stars lost 2-1.
Wanyama’s Senior Career in Numbers
Year Club Apps/Goals
2008-2011: Beerschot 51/2
2011-2013: Celtic 61/10
2013-2016: Southampton 85/4
2016-2020: Tottenham Hotspur 69/6
2020-: CF Montreal 40/4
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