Uganda U20 star Semakula reveals dream, changes nickname from Xavi to Ramos

The player started as a central midfielder before taking up roles at the centre of defence where he is slowly making his name

Uganda U20 and Busoga United defender Kenneth Semakula has shared his hope of one day playing for a bigger club in the world.

Semakula, who started his career as a defensive midfielder before becoming a central defender, also changed nicknames from ‘Xavi’ to ‘Ramos’ to suit his new position on the pitch.

“No doubt, my target is to play in one of the top five leagues in the world and that’s what I always dream about. All my efforts are towards achieving that for now,” Semakula told Sports256.

“My role model was Xavi [Hernandez] then when I was still a midfielder and now that I transformed, I also changed now, I look at [Sergio] Ramos because I think he is the best in that position.”

The Tooro-born youngster has been a consistent player for Busoga United in the Uganda Premier League (UPL) since his promotion into the senior team in September last year.

His local idol is Simba SC and former Orlando Pirates defender Murushid Juuko.

“I love and admire [Murushid] Juuko because he is intelligent, smart on the pitch, he is aggressive and I feel safe when I see him in defence,” he added.

Semakula made his Hippos debut in the Cecafa U20 championship that was held in Uganda in 2019 and he still savours the moment.

“It is always a dream of any footballer to play for his country, so my first national team tournament made me feel I am close to my dream and it gave us more exposure,” he said.

“It was a good competition, my first appearance in national colours and it was such an amazing moment and I gained more experience from it.”

Being a teenager with a potentially bright future, the 17-year-old defender believes his best match to date was his UPL debut, a memory he will cherish forever. 

“My best moment in the career, was when I was voted Man of the Match against Express FC on my Uganda Premier League debut,” he concluded.

“This is a day I will never forget in my life because this is the chance I had got to show what I could and I played my heart out, I utilised it well and until now have never looked back. A

“And my worst moment is whenever we are performing poorly as a team.”

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Coach Charles Livingston Mbabazi, who is also regarded as a Uganda legend, says Semakula just need the right handlers to realise his potential.

“If Semakula is handled well, given the best training and facilities, he will go places. I see a lot of potential in him, he is an intelligent and exceptional player Uganda is gifted with,” Mbambazi told the same publication.


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