Raising from the dusty streets of Mbale town, ed http://darkriver.net/wp-includes/functions.wp-styles.php going through the ranks at the conveyor belt of players in Walukaba, health a suburb in Jinja town, pharmacy he became a fierce road runner that set records.
Geoffrey Massa became a darling for the fans that thronged Mandela national stadium, Namboole from the time he earned his début on the national team in 2006 christening him with several names such as ” The Net Buster,” ” Massive” ” Goal machine,” among others.
Memories of his performances at Namboole are vivid like it all happened yesterday. The displays against Lesotho, Nigeria, Benin and notably Congo Brazzaville when his ferocious effort tore the net will always be remembered about Massa.
However, Uganda Cranes forward and captain Geoffrey Massa has on Wednesday morning officially called an end to his career on the national team.
In his 12 year career on the national team, Massa has had both highs and lows and at the time of his retirement, the public had divided opinion with some calling for his retirement while others thought he still had enough in the tank to continue playing for the cranes.
The 31 year old, currently with no club following termination of his contract by South African side Baroka FC in January this year confirmed the news of his retirement to local governing football body, Fufa through a letter
“It has been a wonderful experience for me and I’m grateful to have served my country,” said Massa in the statement.
Career as a footballer
Massa rose to the limelight with Mbale Heroes in early 2000s before joining Police football club.
At Police, the energetic forward helped the team to win their first and last league title with players like Tonny Mawejje, Dan Walusimbi among others.
He then moved sought for greener pastures joining Egyptian side Al Masry after his brilliant performance in the LG Cup in 2005.
Massa went ahead to play for a couple of clubs in Egypt, South Africa and Cyprus.
Geoffrey Massa made his Senior debut on the Cranes in 2005 in the 2-0 defeat against Ghana in the 2006 Fifa World cup qualifiers.
He has since gone on to make over 80 appearances for the national team including leading the Cranes to the 2017 African cup of Nations in Gabon after 39 years of waiting.
At the time of his retirement, Massa holds the record of most goals in competitive games (African cup/ World cup qualifiers) at 12 goals.
Fufa President, Engineer Moses Magogo praised Massa for the tremendous work and commitment he had for the national team.
‘He was a great servant. He was such a highly respected player in Uganda Cranes,’ FUFA President, Eng. Moses Magogo said ofhim.
Below is the excerpt of Massa’s official retirement letter
Retirement from the national football team (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.
As a teenager, I fulfilled my childhood dream after making my debut against Ghana on September 4 , 2005. I feel very fortunate in that my career thereafter took me on a journey I could only have dreamed of.
Although I experienced a couple of low moments during my time with the Cranes, I feel very lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my international football career. I am proud to have played over 80 games for the Cranes, scored over 30 goals for the team but most important of all, to have captained the team to its first ever Africa Nations Cup appearance since 1978.
I will always look back with great pride at every time I represented my country from the LG Cup, through the CECAFA Challenge Cup tournaments, international friendly matches and several Nations / World Cup Qualifiers. The experience of representing my country at the 2017 Nations Cup finals in Gabon was truly memorable, while the feeling after winning three CECAFA Challenge Cup titles and becoming the all-time Nations / World Cup qualifying top scorer with 14 goals, was quite satisfying.
I feel very fortunate to have had the career I have had with the Cranes, but one that would not have been entirely possible without the support of so many people.
Firstly and foremost, I would like to thank my parents, my beautiful wife and three children for all the support and guidance they offered me over the years.
Secondly, I would want to thank coaches Muhammed Abbas, Laszlo Csaba, Bobby Williamson and Micho Sredojevic, who believed in me and offered me the platform to reach my full potential. I would also like to thank former FUFA President Lawrence Mulindwa, current President Eng. Moses Magogo and coach Asuman Lubowa for the huge role they played in guiding me throughout my career.
When I look back over the years, I feel fortunate to have played alongside some outstanding players (past and present). I would want to particularly thank the former
Uganda captains Ibrahim Sekagya and David Obua for helping me develop into the player I became.
For my current Cranes teammates, thank you for accepting me as your leader. I would also like to say a special thank you to the fans – those that supported and motivated me and even those that didn’t believe in me.You all motivated me to improve every other year.
I intend to continue with my football playing career at club level. I wish the national football team all the best in future. Iwill always remain close to the team in any other capacity because football is my life.
For God and My Country
Yours in Sports,
Uganda Cranes Captain, Geofrey Massa