BY HENRY MHARA
WARRIORS star Marshall Munetsi has revealed the reasons why he chose Stade de Reims over other European clubs who were chasing after his signature.
The 22-year-old signed a four-year deal with the French Ligue 1 team and becomes the third Zimbabwean to play in France’s top division after Benjani Mwaruwari and Harlington Shereni.
Reims yesterday hailed the athletic defender as a rare profile and a player for the future.
Reports had suggested that another European club Zulte Waregem, in the Belgian Super League and Major League Soccer team Columbus Crew had also placed their
bids for the highly-rated player.
But Munetsi chose France and he has given the reasons why.
“I had to go to the national team and I was told that several European clubs were interested, (including) Reims. As soon as I met the leaders and visited the
facilities, I did not hesitate. My family always encouraged me a lot. I had to get away from them for football. Today, I am just a young person who wants to
help the team. I grew up watching clubs like Barcelona or Ajax,” Munetsi told Reims website.
Munetsi said joining a European club was a dream come true for him.
“I fell in love with football, coming to Europe was a childhood dream. Today it’s my greatest achievement and it’s up to me to make sure there are others (who follow their dreams),” he said.
Seen in the mould of a typical Yaya Touré, big‚ strong‚ mobile and a good passer of the ball, Reims sees Munetsi as a “player for the future”.
They feel Munetsi’s experience of playing in the Caf Champions League and upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will come in handy for them.
Reims’ director-general Mathieu Lacour said: “The recruitment of Marshall Munetsi is part of a logic of the future… He is a referenced player in Africa who has
climbed the ladder one after the other and displays good experience at his age with high-level matches in the Caf Champions League. The Afcon, which he will
take part at the end of the month, will also gain him experience.
“Marshall has a great versatility since he can evolve at different positions in the middle of the field. His characteristics, in particular, his athletic
density and his volume of play, correspond to a rare profile which was checked by the staff. The idea, at first, will be to accompany the player in the
discovery of European and French football … at the Stade de Reims.”