Warriors star midfielder Marvelous Nakamba will have the lifetime opportunity of rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in the world after his team, Club Brugge, was drawn in the same pool as star-studded Atletico Madrid as well as German giants Borussia Dortmund in this season’s Uefa Champions League group stage.
BY KEVIN MAPASURE
French giants Monaco complete Group A, where the Belgian champions Club Brugge were placed in a draw that was conducted last night.
Nakamba was always going to get the opportunity to play against some of the best players currently in the game, but it was about discovering last night which superstars he will be trying to outshine in Europe’s premier club competition.
Group top seeds, Altetico Madrid, who are the holders of the Europa League title, parade some of the biggest names in the game that include, among others, strikers Diego Costa and World Cup winner Antonine Griezmann.
Diego Simeone’s side have got some of the most combative midfielders and Nakamba will be looking to outdo the likes of the Spanish trio of Saul, Koke and Vitolo as well as France’s Thomas Lemar.
It will be a stage where Nakamba, who has been linked with English teams such as Everton and Liverpool before, can sell himself playing against the best.
Against Borussia Dortmund, he faces battles against German midfielder Mario Gotze, Belgium’s Axel Witsel and the American, Christian Pulisic, who has been a subject of interest from top European teams.
His team will find it tough qualifying from this group, where they also face Monaco who, however, have lost most of their stars that shone two years ago.
They still have in their ranks star striker Radamel Falcao and have also added Stevan Jovetic, which still makes them a potent force.
Nakamba is currently nursing a knee injury which has kept him out of action since the 2018-19 season started.
He will be hoping to make a comeback and take part in the group stages that start next month.
After his team won the Belgian championship and a ticket to the Uefa Champions League group stages, Nakamba said it was a dream come true for him to play in the popular competition.
“I think each and every player has a dream to participate in the biggest football club tournament in the world.
Getting this opportunity, I will try to give everything and work hard,” the 24-year-old star told NewsDaySport yesterday.
He joins Bruce Grobbelaar as the only other Zimbabwean to play in the group stage of the Uefa Champions League.