Name: Olivier Uwingabire
Date of Birth: 07/06/1986
Place of Birth: Kimisagara, Kigali-Rwanda
Clubs: Nantes Fc-Kimisagara, Esperance Fc-Kimisagara, KIE Fc and Rayon Sport FC
2007 1st runners-up in Primus league
2006 3rd runners-up in Cecafa Challenge Cup
2005 quarterfinalist-Cecafa/Kagame Club Championship
2005 1st runners-up Cecafa Challenge Cup
2005 1/16 CAF Champions League
2004 National League Champions
2004 Peace Cup Champion
With thrilling tempo and an attacking instinct, Olivier Uwingabire has added an extra dimension to Rwanda league giants, Rayon Sport’s defence.
At only 21 and captain of one of the leading clubs in the country, Uwingabire helped Rayon to first runner up spot in the 2006-7 league campaign hence a chance to play in next year’s Caf Confederations Cup.
Like any child growing up playing football in the streets and backyard dusty grounds on the outskirts if Kigali, Uwingabire started playing football at the age of 11, participating in during different Primary schools’ tournaments around Kigali city.
At 15, the then promising defender started playing football with local neighborhood club Nantes des Kimisagara where he made drastic improvement before jumping ship and joined rival club Esperance des Kimisagara where he continued to shine.
During the 2002/03 season, Uwingabire joined Rwanda’s football giants, Rayon Sport and his services helped the club to another level of brilliance which saw them win a number of trophies during his stay.
That year, Rayon Sport qualified to take part in the CAF Champions League but they did not go far as they faced elimination in the preliminary stages on hands of Cotonou Sport of Cameroon after 2-1 loss goal aggregates.
With his high level tactical and defense ability, many Primus league clubs started to search for the Rwandan star.
But due to his promise and love for the club, Uwingabire has since opted to faithfully serve Rayon despite many transfer bids set on him.
During the 2006/07 season, following an injury to Philip Gasana, Uwingabire formed a solid partnership with Aimable Rucogoza in the centre of defense.
In the early part of the season Uwingabire had been instrumental in hauling Rayon to the top of the Primus National League.
He is now recognized as one of the best defenders in the country but he is more popular for his strength, heading ability and willingness to throw his body into any tackle.
Because of this, he enjoys a cult hero status among Rayon Sport faithful.
Uwingabire is a beast of a defender. Tall, athletic and solid as a rock, he’s uncompromising in the tackle and formidable in the air.
Uwingabire has been influential in the Amavubi Stars’ team for the past three years due to his on form skills.
Taking the Amavubi Stars’ team to the 2006 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, Uwingabire guided his country to second runners-up spot.
In 2005, after attaining the second position in the national league, Uwingabire guided his side to the quarterfinal of the Cecafa/Kagame club championship which was held in Tanzania.
After a good performance in the regional clubs’ championship, later that year, the Rayon defender was a losing finalists with the Amavubi Stars in the Cecafa Challenge Cup staged on home turf- Rwanda lost to Ethiopia 0-1.
In 2006, he also guided the Amavubi Stars to obtain the third runners-up position in the same tournament which was this time held in Ethiopia.
Despite his skills, Uwingabire was never been recalled to the national senior team during the CAN 2006 qualifiers. At that time the Amavubi Stars’ team was under Swedish born coach Roger Palmgren.
He was always selected to take part in the national team’s preparation but would be eliminated prior to playing the qualifiers.
However, after the arrival of new coach Michael Nees started to gain confidence and improvement in his ball skills.
Uwingabire has made the 2008 CAN qualifiers five times, featuring in only one game away to Liberia while remaining on the bench in the other four.
But to him, he knows that one day, he will fully be in charge of the Amavubi Stars’ team central defense.
“It is just a matter of being patient and improve on my performance in order to attain my best,” Uwingabire said.
The 21-year old hopes to pass his skills to the youth in Rwanda through the football academy and believes that future for Rwandan football lays in the youth development.
Contacts- e-mail: email@example.com
Cell: (+250) 08438743