Thursday, June 30, 2022

Zambia’s GOAT: Ucar, Computer, Great Kalu or Chris Katongo?

Zambia is regarded as one of the biggest footballing nations in Africa. It is home to some talented players who have turned out for different leagues in Europe, Asia, and Africa over the years.

Zambia’s national football team, popularly known as the Chipolopolo, may not have reached the heights of North African and West African giants such as Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, or Senegal.

Still, the country boasts some of the continent’s best players on an individual level.

The local Zambian league continues to produce huge talent, with players like Patson Daka now playing in the English Premier League for Leicester City.

It is also one of the many leagues where you can wager on different markets, including the live betting option with Betway.

We remember some of the finest footballers from the Southern African nation.

Godfrey ‘Ucar’ Chitalu

Godfrey Chitalu is Zambia’s top player ever, having set the record for the most goals scored in a calendar year.

He was born in October 1947, and while the current generation remembers him as a national team coach, his records on the field remain unbroken.

In records that FIFA has since challenged, his 116 goals in 1972 exceeded both Gerd Muller of Germany and Lionel Messi of Argentina.

After retiring, he became a coach and took over management of Chipolopolo until the time of his death in the ill-fated air crash on April 27, 1993.

Alex ‘Computer’ Chola

Alex Chola is Zambia’s second-highest goal scorer, after only the great Godfrey Chitalu, and he took a similar path from playing to coaching in his own country.

He began his career as a youth with Solbena F.C. before moving up to Division 2 with Mufulira Blackpool in 1974. Two years later, he was named Zambian Footballer of the Year, then playing for Zambia’s Power Dynamos in the local Zambia top flight.

After retiring from football, he became a coach, managing the Power Dynamos, and won coach of the year in 1992. In 1993, he perished in an aircraft tragedy that killed the whole Zambian national team.

Kalusha Bwalya

Kalusha Bwalya, also King Kalu, is a well-known figure in African football. He is one of Zambia’s most capped players and Chipolopolo’s third-highest scorer behind Chitalu and Chola.

He won the African Footballer of the Year award in 1988, confirming his domination in both continental and domestic sport.

Despite playing a whole season for a non-European team, he was nominated for the 1996 FIFA World Player of the Year and finished 12th overall.

He quit playing to pursue a coaching career, but it wasn’t long before he was elected President of the Zambian Football Association.

Dick Chama

Dick Chama was a central defender for Zambia’s national football team, where he established himself as one of the continent’s top defenders.

In Zambia’s first appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1974, he marshaled the defense alongside Dickson Makwaza, earning him a nomination for the CAF team of the tournament.

He was named Zambian Sportsman of the Year a year later.

Christopher ‘Tsunami’ Katongo

Katongo was a member of the Zambian national team and played for Green Buffaloes in the Zambian Premier League, one of the many teams you can follow and bet on with Betway. 

After a great AFCON Championship in 2012, he bagged the top BBC African Player of the Year award and was joint top scorer.

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