By Boniface Zulu | August 15, 2019
THROW BACK|2012 BBC African footballer of the year is one the best attacking midfielders Zambia has ever produced because of his high work-rate, physical strength, mental strength and leadership qualities.
Christopher Katongo held characteristics of a hard-running box to box player who controlled the midfield with ease, and strong enough mentally to take the game into his hands, in most instances where Zambia needed inspiration; which injected the right energy and a never-say-die attitude amongst his teammates.
Winning the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations for Zambia as a captain and player of the Tournament stands on top of Katongo’s decoration but it’s his ability to score vital goals for Chipolopolo that has made him a household name in the Zambian football hall of fame.
Now an assistant coach at Green Buffaloes Football Club,Katongo’s club career dates back from the humble backgrounds of Mufulira where he played for Butondo West Tigers and Kalulushi Modern stars before joining Lusaka based GBFC in 2001; a club he went on to bang twice four goals in CAF Confederations Cup.
In 2004, Katongo joined South African side Jomo Cosmos where he became 2007 top scorer on 15 goals midway the season; having signed for Danish side Brondby.
Katongo went on to play two(2) seasons in Germany for Arminia Bielefeld,a season at Greek side Skoda Xanthi and three(3) seasons with Chinese Super League side Henan Construction, before heading back to South Africa in 2014, to join Bidvest Wits, following a short 4 months stint with Golden Arrows.
In 2015, he came back to home soil to join MTN/FAZ Super league Green Buffaloes FC, before being accorded an opportunity to start his coaching career as an assistant coach.
At the international level, Katongo debuted in 2003, and went on to score a historic hatrick beat Bafana Bafana 3-1 and consequently qualify Zambia to the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
The promoted Corporal to Sergeant Officer had a successful international career featuring at the 2006,2008,2010,2012 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations respective tournaments.
Katongo, however, misses out in the 23-man squad for 2015AFCON, but later went on to play at the 2016 African Nations Championship(CHAN) in Rwanda, leading Zambia to the quarter-final stage.
Today Christopher Katongo is a well respected and a famous name in the books of African football and World over. As such it is befitting to look back and appreciate his contribution to Zambian football as he celebrates his birthday on 31st August.