Victor Wanyama: Beyond The Round Leather Game
Victor Wanyama is widely known for his tough tackling and defensive capabilities on the football field. It’s no surprise that he has carved a niche for himself at every club he went to, with managers and supporters clamoring for more. However, not much is known about this tenacious midfielder who hails from Kenya. Sit back and relax as we lift the veil on Victor Wanyama’s life story, game, unknown facts, hobbies, cars, and many more.
The Kenyan national team captain has come a long way from walking and playing football barefoot in Nairobi. For Wanyama, football is a passion turned salvation, speaking of his childhood in an interview he says,
“You would be walking along or playing football, and you would see thieves snatching things or someone taking a knife out to stab the other one because something had happened – he took his money, maybe. For a young kid, seeing what I saw was a bit of a torture, I would even say.”
From a young age, his affinity for football led him to a local soccer team called Country Bus, where he had to walk 7miles to and fro to participate in away fixtures. Winning his first soccer boot at an age group competition was only a sign of greater things to come for Wanyama as football genes reign in the family. His father had starred for the Kenyan team and AFC Leopards. At the same time, his brother McDonald Mariga won a Champions League with Inter Milan back in 2010. It was Mariga’s forays in Europe that earned 14-year old Wanyama a trial at Helsinborg in 2006. In an interview with the Guardian about the stint, Wanyama expressed gratitude for the experience and contributions the training facilities in Sweden made to his professional career.
However, after his brother left the club for Parma, Wanyama returned to Kenya to join JMJ Academy before securing a move to Belgium. From then on, his light continued to shine, and he made his international debut at the age of 15. The talent continued to blossom, and he was later to move to Celtic football club in Scotland. Wanyama has so far featured for Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, and currently plays for Major League Soccer side, Montreal Impact.
While his on-field triumphs are well documented, here are some unknown facts about the wonderful player named Victor Wanyama:
Victor Wanyama is the first and only Kenyan to have featured in the English Premier League after signing for Southampton in 2013. He holds the record of being the first Kenyan to score in the EPL. He is also the first Kenyan to feature in the Scottish Premier League.
Victor Wanyama is the first Kenyan to score in the UEFA Champions League after scoring the opener for Celtic against Barcelona in a UCL group stage tie back in 2012.
He comes from a sports family as his father and older brother were professional footballers. At the same time, his sister is a basketball player. He is also a brother to Thomas Wanyama, who plays for Mathare United in the Kenyan Premier League.
His favorite team is Celtic, and he has expressed a desire to play for the team again before hanging his boots.
He once had his home burgled while he was away playing for Tottenham, with the burglars making away with jewelry and his £60,000 Range Rover Sport, which was later recovered by the police.
Victor Wanyama is a philanthropist and has a foundation geared towards helping youths in developing their talents and promoting sports as a tool of societal change. Wanyama does not shy away from taking political stands. He took to his social media pages to join protests against police brutality in Kenya and the U.S.
Wanyama participated in the production of Mdudu Boy - a short film based on football in Kenya.
While not much is known about his personal life besides his love for SUVs, Victor Wanyama is reportedly in love with model Tracy Macniven. For a man who’s worth over £12million, he does well to stay out of the media eye despite being very active on Instagram. Wanyama is a hero off the pitch just as much as he is on it.