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Bevis Mugabi: The Uganda Cranes and Motherwell intelligent defender

The tallest player on the Uganda Cranes team is Bevis Kristofer Kizito Mugabi. He stands at 1.88m and when he lines up in the back line with other players, the chances are, a debate about his height would be ignited. It is the reality with natural stuff more so where the Almighty is the controller.

Mugabi is a Ugandan professional footballer who plies his trade in the Scottish Premier League with Motherwell FC.

Born in Harrow, England, the lanky defender started his football journey at Southampton football academy before joining now fifth division English side Yeovil Town.

After showing interest in representing his mother Country, Uganda, he was summoned for the first time by Uganda Cranes head coach Sebastien Desabre in 2018 and played in two international friendly games against Malawi and Sao Tome and Principe at Namboole stadium.

Bevis Mugabi on his international debut in 2018 at Mandela National Stadium, Nambole

In 2019, he made the final Uganda Cranes team for the AFCON tournament in Egypt and put up a decent show at the right back position.

Uganda Cranes vs DR Congo in the AFCON 2019 in Egypt. Mugabi is at the extreme left back row.
Bevis Mugabi clears the ball during a friendly match for Uganda Cranes in Abudabhi.

It is such eye catching displays in the famous black yellow and red jersey that landed him a move to Motherwell in 2019 and has since been a main stay in the team with unforgettable shows including breaking a record that had been set by global icon Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bevis Mugabi (2nd from Right) linining up for Uganda Cranes duty

The Motherwell and Uganda defender hit a height of 262cm, beating Ronaldo’s 256cm, and also leapt 75cm off the ground compared to Ronaldo’s 71cm. In 2021, Mugabi netted for his team with a beauty of a header against Ross County. Motherwell won 1-0.

He also recently renewed his stay at the club for another three years.  He is just 26 years old.

FUFA media’s Ronnie Lusulire caught up with the towering and intelligent defender for a question and answer session. He talks about life in Scotland, favorite shirt number, toughest opponent and the kind of music his ears feed on.

Interview time: Bevis Mugabi (L) and Ronnie Lusulire

FUFA media: Why did you decide to renew your contract with Motherwell FC despite offers from other clubs?

Mugabi: I decided to stay with the club because of the loyalty they showed me when I first came to Scotland. First and foremost, they believed in my ability even when I wasn’t playing well and that is the reason why I probably decided to stay and develop further as a player and a person.

But most importantly it was about playing games consistently. I believe I made the right decision to stay at the club.

Training hard has given Bevis Mugabi a chance not to be overlooked by coaches at club and country level.

FUFA media: How did the fans receive you when you joined the Club?

The fans were really welcoming and supported me through alot of things and I am very happy to be staying honestly.

FUFA Media:  The switch from Yeovil to Motherwell in 2019, how did it change your life?

Mugabi: It was a big change moving from England to Scotland.  I left behind my family but I had to grow as a person, adapt to a different environment, culture, people and style of play. It wasn’t a very easy transition but I am happy I made that step with the aim of trying out something different and I can’t complain.

FUFA media: How did you feel breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous 8ft 5 inch leap record?

Mugabi: I honestly didn’t have an idea that I had done it until after the game when my brother called me and said I had jumped high but at that time I wasn’t really focusing on that as my aim was to get 3 points for the team. I am happy it was the winning goal and got the vital points that we needed at that time.

The thumbs up signal is not for breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s record but winning a game in Uzbekistan

FUFA media: What are your targets now at the club going forward?

Mugabi: My main focus is to perform well for the club and play consistently well for my manager, teammates and finish in a better position on the table. All I can do is to thank God for putting me in this position and allowing me to keep on working and progressing as a player. I feel I have done well this season with my performances and I want to keep on learning as it never stops but hopefully keep on playing well and see what the future has in store for me.

This season, Mugabi has made 25 appearances out of 30 for Motherwell in 2223 minutes with two goals to his name.

FUFA Media: Who is the toughest opponent you have ever faced?

Mugabi: Senegal’s Sadio Mane during the 2019 AFCON tournament in Egypt when we lost 1-0 in the last 16 stage.

FUFA Media: What kind of music do you listen to?

Mugabi: Rap, Hip hop, RnB and Afro beats.

FUFA Media: Who is your roommate in the National team?

Mugabi: Usually it’s Isaac Muleme.

FUFA Media: What’s your favorite shirt number?

Mugabi: It is 5 and I am happy I wear it while on the National team though at club level it is 16. 

No.5 is the number for Bevis Mugabi
Uganda Cranes coach Milutin Sredojevic and Bevis Mugabi in Uzbekistan