Zimbabwe’s best eleven, Ever!

My first football memories go back to the early 90s when the song Yave Nyama Yekugocha was a hit and associated with the Zimbabwean football royale.

My most vivid flashback is of the 1994 Worlrd Cup qualifiers where The Warriors of Zimbabwe punched above their weight and topped the group that included continental giants Egypt, Angola, Togo and Sierra Leone. It is interesting to note that Egypt, Togo and Angola have all been to the World Cup and Zimbabwe is still dreaming.

As always, these lists generate differing opinions and those who feel aggrieved or unhappy are free to list their own selection and reasons.

This is mine, based on those I watched, and that I feel merit a place in my own best-ever eleven

  1. Bruce Grobbelaar

His cat-like reflexes and consistency spanning a decade at the top with the recently crowned English Champions Liverpool takes the spot between the sticks. For both Liverpool Fc and Zimbabwe, the Jungleman he excelled, imposing on himself a tireless training regime that, coupled with his immense talent, set him apart.

  1. Mercedes ‘Rambo’ Sibanda

Ever-consistent and dependable, Rambo was a thorn in any defenders flesh and rarely put a foot wrong in the right back role. He was a pillar in which the Dream team defence was moulded. He was also a good crosser of the ball, MHSRIP.

  1. Onismor Bhasera

A defender who rarely was seen throwing himself about in the tackle, Bhasera’s keen sense of positioning and anticipation allowed him to defend ‘cleanly.’ After he slotted into the left-back position for the Warriors in in the run to the AFCON in 2017, he never looked back and cemented his place in the national team, making the position his own. He was one of the best players in Gabon for Zimbabwe

  1. Norman Mapeza

Tall, majestic, and powerful in the air, a dependablecentre back as any who could be found on the continent. The former Galatasaray defender had a calming effect and commanded respect each time he would wear the Warriors green and gold. He was a sure footed top notch defender.

  1. Thulani ‘Biya’ Ncube

For his leadership on the field, Thulani Ncube stands out as Zimbabwe’s general on the pitch. He was as good as they come, a defensive pillar blessed with a football brain and leadership qualities that make him the captain for the senior team and the U23 at the same time.

  1. Benjamin Nkonjera

This man had a heart of a lion, ran the defensive midfield role with his assured performances in front of the back four. He was equally dexterous in the role for the Warriors where he was the fulcrum of the midfield as they became the dominant team in topping Group C and the 13 unbeaten run was no surprise with such a fine talent in the team, MHSRIP.

  1. Ersom Nyandoro

The stocky midfielder was a true work horse who provided steel in the midfield along TinansheNengomasha in Tunisia 2004 and Egypt 2006. A sure footed midfielder with an eye for spectacular goals. Whenever he was in the team the nation would be rest assured of a good day in the office.

  1. Ronald ‘Gidiza’ Sibanda

His unmatched vision and passing ability were key to Zimbabwe’s maiden qualification in 2004. But for a career-threatening injury that saw his dream of moving to England in early 2000s, meant that the talented pass master did duty in the domestic league. He would surely have become a bigger legend than he did in both Zimbabwean and world football.

  1. Khama Billiat

The unstoppable Billiat rampaged defences and scored some crazy goals especially away in Malawi in a 2-1 triumph. His form and quality in 2016 saw him scooping the best accolade in the South African top flight and came second on the continent.  For two campaigns 2017 and 2019, Zimbabwe have relied on the magical feet of Khama Billiat.

  1. Peter Ndlovu (captain)

His dribbling magic down the left flank and later his scintillating play in a second-striker role made him the darling of Zimbabwean football fans as he led the national team to unprecedented heights during his career in the national team. The first African to feature in the English Premiership in 1992.The immensely gifted Ndlovu was marvel to watch and remains captain fantastic.

  1. Knowledge Musona

The Smiling Assassin, Knowledge Musona’s devastating speed upfront discombobulated defences and has been inspirational for Zimbabwe for close to a decade now. His ability to shoot equally powerfully with either foot and strength in the air saw him top scoring the 2017 AFCON qualifiers.

The Bench

  1. Energy Murambadoro
  2. Cephas Chimedza
  3. Tinashe Nengomasha
  4. Johannes Ngodzo
  5. BenjanMwariwari
  6. Agent Sawu
  7. Adam Ndlovu

Reinhard Fabisch – Head coach

The German tactician taught us that you don’t necessarily pick the most talented players, but the best men who can make your team click and his Dream Team might have fallen short, in their quest for an appearance at the Nations Cup and World Cup.

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