John Baresi Odhiambo is a name that lingers in the minds of Kenyan soccer lovers after his epic performance against Nigeria - Super Eagels at Kasarani Stadium during the 98 world cup qualifier match.
After the match Nigerian superstar Jay Jay Okocha applauded John's performance, in fact, most of Nigerian players were under the impression that John Odhiambo played professional soccer in France following his brilliant display in the midfield. His man to man marking on Okocha and tackles on Nigerian players were the talk of the town for a long time after the match.
Early soccer Career
John Baresi Odhiambo started playing soccer at a tender age as a hobby but then it turned out to be a career. He credits his soccer success story to the late Leo Omar Otti whom steered him towards a bright future as a soccer player at Camp Toyoyo.
His soccer journey commenced at Camp Toyoyo Jericho before he moved to Breweries youth team then joined Kenya Pipeline. It is while playing at Kenya Pipeline that Rishadi Shedu and Twahir Muhiddin recruited him to play for KTM Thika.
Kenya Premier League Adventure.
During his tenure at KTM in Thika under the stewardship of Rishadi Shedu & Twahir Muhiddin the team was disbanded. He and his teammates the likes of Robert Ochan, Paul Oyuga and Haggai Azande headed to Alaskan F.C. After his stint with the coastal side he moved to Re-Union before the mighty Gor Mahia identified his soccer prowess and moved to acquire his services. John Odhiambo was not only a big supporter of Gor-Mahia, playing for the Kenyan giants was his dream so when they came knocking on his door he did not hesitate.
National Team Adventure.
John Baresi Odhiambo represented Kenya for the first time in 1992 during Panasonic East and Central youth tournament alongside the likes of Eric Cantona Ochieng, Alfred Kiragu, Patrick "razor" Naduli, Habil Kachisa and Sunday Juma.
Photo: Kenya Under 20 team in 1992
His first Senior team cap for Harambee Stars was against Chipolopolo of Zambia at Nyayo Stadium, a friendly match that a newly formed Harambee Stars under the stewardship of the late Reinhardt Fabisch won 1 - 0. He later represented the national team against Malawi another friendly match that ended in a 2-2 draw. He would proceed to post stellar performances in the in the world cup and AFCON 98 qualifying matches against Nigeria, Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon and Burkina Faso.
Photo: Kenya vs Zambia, John Odhiambo(Second from Right)
Life in The United States Of America.
John Baresi Odhiambo managed to get a study scholarship in the U.S.A where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Business and went on to do a Masters degree in Business Administration. Baresi currently resides in New York and is employed at Irving Tissue as a Logistics administrator.
Photo: John Odhiambo In The USA
The father of three Gilliam - 18years, Wyqie - 12years and Malika - 4years advice to the current and upcoming players is stay focused and aim higher, patience is a virtue that they all need to practice while playing.