TP Mazembe midfielder Rainford Kalaba takes a selfie with the trophy
Tuesday Jan 10, 2017. 14:30
Former Zambian skipper Kalusha Bwalya has advised current skipper Rainford Kalaba to be encouraged by finishing third in the CAF African Player of the Year Award.
The TP Mazembe midfielder finished third behind Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango and forward Khama Billiat.
It is reported that 'King Kalu' gave five points to Ugandan international Onyango, four to Zimbabwe's Billiat and three to Kalaba.
The former Football Association of Zambia president has, however, advised the 2016 CAF Confederation Cup winner to remain resilient and look forward to the future.
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“Let it go. It’s gone. Anyone who has played football in his life knows that the most important game is the next one,” said Bwalya.
“I am sure Rainford [Kalaba] will have a good next season and come back and stand a chance to win. He shouldn’t despair. He should be encouraged.
“Kalaba is a good player but there are several factors considered when voting. If you look at the top two [Onyango and Billiat], you will see why Africa voted for them. There is Africa Cup and there is also Champions League involved.”
Meanwhile, the Chipolopolo skipper netted eight goals to guide Mazembe to the Confed Cup triumph, but failed to lead the Chipolopolo to the 2017 AFCON finals in Gabon.
On the other hand, the 1988 CAF African Footballer of the Year has been criticised for placing Kalaba third behind Onyango and Billiat during last Thursday’s CAF-Glo awards gala in Abuja, Nigeria.