IT’S the hottest debate currently raging in the domestic Premier Soccer League: Who should be crowned the Soccer Star of the Year — Denver Mukamba, Masimba Mambare or Ronald Chitiyo?
Report by Henry Mhara Sports Reporter
The three players are hot favourites to clinch the prestigious award on December 14 after they effortlessly made their way into the 11 finalists voted by a panel last Saturday.
For Mukamba, there is no debate on who is the best of them all.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, the Dynamos superstar threw diplomacy out of the window and declared he was better than both Mambare and Chitiyo.
“I think I did everything this season for my club. I’m the top goal scorer for Dynamos and I have the highest number of assists, which I think contributed immensely to the team’s success this season,” said Mukamba.
“If you put all this into consideration, I think I deserve to be the soccer star this year. I’m not saying the other players were bad, but I think I was operating at a different level this season. There were issues about my discipline last season, but I have improved a lot in that area. I have matured and know what my coaches and fans expect from me. I think I was better by far this season,” the lanky midfielder declared.
“We won the championship and we are also in the Mbada Diamonds Cup final, so the logical thing is for the Player of the Season to come from Dynamos.”
Mukamba might have collected his Castle Lager championship gold medal last Sunday, but he wants more.
The former Kiglon player will, as has been the norm this season, carry Dynamos’ hopes when they clash against Chitiyo’s Monomotapa in the Mbada Diamonds Cup final at Rufaro Stadium.
The two face off in another contest to outshine one another.
Mambare would have been another candidate worth of note, but this is one duel he will have to watch from the sidelines after his team was knocked out of the competition by Monomotapa.
Both Mukamba and Chitiyo love to carry the ball and have magic in their feet. Their form in this final is likely to be crucial.
Monomotapa operate more as a collective force, but Chitiyo almost always stands out in an otherwise talent-bristling side.
They can pass a team to sleep, while Dynamos are more direct, a method that has already won them the championship.
Mukamba is the key to the Dynamos attack and has the ability to dissect any defence.
The two’s individual brilliance could form an interesting sub-plot to the highly-anticipated final which will be played at Rufaro.
“Morale is high in the team after winning the championship last weekend. Everyone is looking forward to winning the final. We want to finish the season in style,” said Mukamba.
Chitiyo said: “I am not under pressure to prove anything. It’s not about individuals, we will play as a team. It will be a big game for us, but we are not afraid of them (Dynamos).”
Putting Mukamba and Chitiyo aside, both teams have other players who are capable of winning any match.
If Dynamos have the pace of Simba Sithole upfront and the steady Patson Jaure at the back, Russel Madamombe and Kuda Musharu should do it for Monoz.