They are legends on the turf, born from poor backgrounds yet they have defied all odds to become world’s greats. Their stories and lives are an inspiration to millions of young players across the globe.

RUFFTONE, MESSI AND RONALDO PHOTO/COURTESY

Celebrated gospel singer Rufftone has since launched a campaign to bring football greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to Kenya this year.

Rufftone says his initiative has been inspired by the desire to change the concept of football administration in the country – which according to him, has suffered mercurial management. He recently revealed this in a chat with Citizen Digital:

“I am deeply saddened by the situation of Kenyan football. There is a lot of talent in the country as there is dire football mismanagement in the country. For example, Kenya has churned top footballers like former Harambee Stars midfielder Mike Okoth; the father of Divock Origi – who plays for Belgium. Mr Okoth in the 90’s relocated to Belgium to play professional football; and was impressed by Belgium’s football management. Then emerged Musa Otieno who also sought greener pastures in South Africa; then followed Allan Wanga, Dennis Oliech, McDonald Mariga and Victor Mugubi Wanyama. They are all talented; so it will be wrong to say Kenya does not have gifted footballers.The mismanagement of football welfare in the country has led to the stagnation of Kenya’s soccer. Football governing body in the country houses many selfish officials.

The veteran Gospel artiste now says he will mobilize Kenyans to help him take to social media and invite 2015 Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, and the first runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo to encourage the youth who have lost hope in pursuing football as a career.

”I will mobilize Kenyans to invite Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to come and encourage young Kenyans that football pays; and that it is a career like any other – by doing so, Kenya’s football management will see the need to take the youths’ talent seriously,” said Rufftone, adding: “We cannot always live by the phrase ‘football does not pay. I’d love to see them (Messi and Ronaldo) instill confidence in our young footballers; ask them to dream that they (Kenyan footballers) can achieve greatness – as vast as theirs. I wish to invite them to Nyayo National Stadium where they will talk for one hour. If we can front this initiative by mobilizing for their Kenyan visit through their social media handles, I believe that will come to pass. I solely rely on the unity of Kenyans and the favour of God to make this possible.”

Oyaro Clinton