Wanyama at 32: Career highlights of birthday boy

CF Montreal midfielder Victor Wanyama (2) celebrates the victory during the Audi 2022 MLS, Fussball Herren, USA Cup Playoffs match between Orlando City SC and CF Montreal held at Saputo Stadium in Montreal on October 16, 2022.

FOOTBALL Wanyama at 32: Career highlights of birthday boy

Kiplagat Sang 12:30 - 25.06.2023

The midfielder is turning a year old, and we look into his career and bring out the outstanding facts.

Former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama is celebrating his birthday on June 25 as he turns 32.

As he marks another milestone in life, we look into what has been regarded as highlights in his football career. Arguably, Wanyama is one of the most prominent athletes Kenya has produced. So what are the salient features of his career?


In September 2009, as a Beerschot AC player, Wanyama was fined €100 and given a three-match suspension for a violent tackle on Matias Suarez of Anderlecht.

He had joined the Belgian club on a four-year contract in the summer of 2008 and made his debut in a league match at the end of the 2008–09 season.

In 2011, he received another three-match suspension after video evidence showed he had elbowed Brecht Dejaeghere of KV Kortrijk.

First Kenyan in the Premiership

After his stint in Belgium, the Kenyan midfielder joined Scottish giants Celtic on July 29, 2011, and signed a four-year contract.

This made him the first Kenyan to play in the Scottish Premiership. Wanyama chose 67 as his squad number to honour the Lisbon Lions, Celtic's 1967 European Cup-winning team.

Stunned Barcelona

One of his memorable moments in a Celtic shirt was when he scored against Barcelona in a group stage match in November 2012. His powerful header helped Celtic emerge 2-1 winners at Celtic Park.

In that season, Wanyama received a nomination for the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year for 2012–13, but Leigh Griffiths was announced as the winner.

First Kenyan in Premier League

In July 2013, he joined Southampton and again became the first Kenyan to sign for a Premier League outfit. His move was completed after the Saints paid a fee understood to be around £12.5 million for Wanyama.

In 2016, he completed a move to Tottenham Hotspur and signed a five-year contract. Although at first he was a regular player under Mauricio Pochettino, injuries affected his first-team appearances.

He was part of the Spurs team that qualified for the UEFA Champions League final in 2019, although he did not play in the final against Liverpool.

Kenya's debut and retirement

The Lion of Muthurwa made his debut for the Kenyan senior national team in May 2007 as a 15-year-old, and this came in a friendly match against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

He became captain in 2013, led Kenya back to the Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2019, and retired in 2021. His retirement saw a 14-year stint with the Harambee Stars come to an end.