As a teenager, Geofrey Massa walked 10 miles from Nakaloke village to Mbale Municipal Stadium for daily training sessions.
Deep in his heart, he haboured big dreams in his football career – first to play for top flight club in Uganda, turn professional, feature for the national team (Uganda Cranes) and one day wear the treasured captain’s arm band.
All the aforementioned were fulfilled and today, it is the end of a 12 year national team epoch for former Mbale Heroes, Police among others marksman.
Massa has officially announced his retirement from the Uganda Cranes.
It is with immense pride that I announce my retirement from the national football team after representing the country for 12 years.
I have had an incredible career and I am thankful for each and every moment for my time with the Uganda Cranes.
Among the numerous achievements Massa will live to remember is guiding the Uganda Cranes to Gabon for the AFCON finals, breaking a 39 years’ jinx.
Massa praised Uganda Cranes teammates, FUFA, fans, coaches particularly Muhammed Abbasi and the media fraternity.
He will continue with the club football with offers lined for him in the Middle East.
10 facts about Massa:
1- 12 clubs in 12 years:
An individual’s success script is never penned in a record time. It often takes some time.
Whereas it varies from person to person, components of luck, diligence and commitment from various individuals.
For Geofrey Massa, they have been 12 or so years of toil, sacrifice and dedicated service.
Since the early days as amateur footballer at Tobbaco grounds in Jinja, Massa featured for the area several non league – teams; Wama and Utoa, before he was recruited by Walukuba football club in the lower tier league of Uganda’s football then.
He then graduated to Mbale Heroes f.c in the super division before he caught the keen eye of Police football club.
He has played professional football with Al-Masry, El Shams and Itesalat football clubs in Egypt, Yenicami Agdelen SK in Cyprus, Jomo Cosmos, Amatuks, Bloemfontein Celtics, University of Pretoria and lately Baroka in South Africa.
2 – A god at Walukuba:
Massa’s success ladder has inverted the common biblical adage that heroes are never welcome in their own backyard.
At his home town of Walukuba in Jinja, Massa is worshipped, praised, adored and sanctified in equal measure by all the male, females, young, old, rich and the poor.
Little wonder therefore, Massa pays occasional courtesy calls to Walukuba every time he is off duty.
3 – Humble Background:
Born 19 February 1986 in Jinja, Massa grew up as a humble boy, always willing to learn with patience.
Little wonder, he still has all his childhood Walukuba friends despite his ever escalating ladder of stardom.
4 – Workaholic:
A friend of mine once joked; Massa is so hard-working on the soccer pitch to the extent he will sweat all the body including the shins.
True, Massa is not only diligent during matches, but also invests an enviable amount of time in private sessions and during team training arrangements.
Massa’s burly structure, direct system of play and blistering pace is a real menace to the opposition.
He has been such a workhorse.
5 – Tore Namboole Stadium Goal Nets:
Massa’s fierce shots off his right foot are a menace for many goal keepers, let alone for the goal nets.
For the record, Massa tore the goal nets at Namboole against Congo Brazzaville. Soccer fans had a scrambled share of the goal nets to be part of history.
6- Most Goals in club:
During his stay at Yenicami Agdelen SK in Israel (between 2011 – 2013), he amassed a total of 49 club strikes.
7 – Loathed and Loved in Equal currency:
Massa takes the accolade for the most loved and hated player on the current Cranes team. He is often criticized by a large section of the public for missing ‘obvious goal bound attempts’.
Ironically, the same crowds turn face and praised him aloft everyone whenever he netted beauties.
8 – Irascible Character:
Massa at first impression could be mistaken for a saint, but like all footballers, Massa is never contented to play the second fiddle role.
Little surprise, he will need divine intervention powers to reconsider his heart to start playing ‘Cranes away ties’.
10 – Professional Career:
Started his Professional career at Egyptian club, Al Masry in 2005, after he caught the eyes of scouts at the LG Cup where Uganda was invited to play in Egypt.