African Football

Godfrey Ucar Chitalu- The greatest player of all-time


The debate of who is the greatest footballer of all time in the history of football is a hot topic and ofcourse Cristiano Ronaldo and his arch rival Lio Messi pop up on a daily basis, just like Maradona and Pele made noise before them.

The most depressing part of this discussion is whenever you bring up the Great Godfrey Ucar Chitalu, Even among Zambians, most people will easily dismiss your argument without even looking at facts. Maybe he is not the greatest player that ever played football but he is the greatest goalscorer of alltime, How? Numbers don’t lie and 116 goals a season is no small feat.

Godfrey Chitalu was born on 22nd October 1947. The five time Zambian footballer of the year is widely regarded as the greatest Zambian player to have ever graced a football pitch and he holds the national team scoring record and was voted Zambian footballer of the year five times. As well, he was selected by CAF as one of the best 200 African footballers of the past 50 years in 2006.

Chitalu scored more than 100 goals in all competitions in 1972, more than Gerd Müller’s total in 1972 and Lionel Messi’s total in 2012, both of which are often referred to by journalist as “world records”. However, Zambian researchers found out they were actually 116 throughout the calendar year. This includes 15 goals in CAF competitions, 91 goals in FAZ tournaments, 5 goals in friendly games, 3 goals in the NFL Trophy and 2 goals in the NFL Benevolent Fund Match. The research was presented in the year 2012 after Lionel Messi broke the alleged world record of Gerd Müller. Nevertheless, a FIFA spokesman declared that an official FIFA world record had never existed as they did not keep track of domestic competitions.

The above brief fact file gives a short account of how lethal the man was. Yes their is no official record by FIFA ( ) but international media has chosen to refer to the messi and Gerd Muller goals as “official” records, Not surprising looking at how even Africans blindly hero worship European football without proper justification.

The international media is not necessarily to blame, The blame falls on us Zambians and Africans in general who don’t want to support our own Zambian (African) achievements. Doubt my theory?, Try starting a conversation with most European football lovers and see how they will defend the European game and most of them don’t even have facts. I remember some time back i remember how people argued on player salaries, saying players earn peanuts but Zesco United’s Idris Mbombo was earning $1700 while Jesse Jackson Were was on $4500 monthly salary last season, about five times more than most civil servants.

Most European fans from Africa depend on certain European media houses that they trust which may not always tell the truth or atleast the whole truth.

For example this link : Top Ten Goalscorers in a Single Year | Sportslens via @soccerlens

Puts the king of goals third on their so called alltime list with 81 goals from 1968 at Kitwe United, but fail to recognise his 116 (107) which happens to have been scored 4 years later (1972) at Kabwe warriors. So the big question here is how do they have a record from 1968 and not 1972, sounds weird right? I thought so too.

Another culprit is CAF, how? So don’t you just get bored how the CAF awards have more music performances and ministers talking instead of actual important information about our legends who helped shape our football into what is is today? I know i do. Its not a musical or a political rally it is the CAF awards for God sake.

Conviniently the greatest player of alltime re-appears again on the top ten list of alltime Topscorers for national team level with 76 goals in 108 appearances. How is it they accept these goals and not the 107?funny right?.


Some links on the top ten list for national team goals :
Ronaldo joins immortals in all-time list

Bottom line here is that Africa must stand up and demand for what it deserves but first we need to change our inferiority complex mentality, not everything European is right or better than our own.

The only relief is that the Football Association of Zambia President Andrew Ndanga Kamanga and his executive have promised to do everything and get the great Ucar the recognition that he deserves.


About Mubanga Aaron

Freelance Football Writer |Freelance sports presenter TV & Radio|Sports Analyst|Social media manager|[email protected]

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