Nhamoinesu earns legend status

COSTA Nhamoinesu has cemented his status as a legend for Czech Republic side Sparta Prague after clocking 200 games for the club at the weekend.

BY HENRY MHARA/FORTUNE MBELE

The former Warriors defender achieved the milestone on Sunday in the team’s 3-0 win over local rivals Jablonec in a league game that was also used to celebrate Sparta’s 125th anniversary.

While the bigger picture was on the league win and the club’s celebrations, there was also the little matter of Nhamoinesu’s milestone of games since joining the club.

To celebrate the club’s anniversary, the club auctioned players’ jerseys — special black retro jerseys, reminiscent of the club’s original jerseys from the beginning of its history — with the proceeds going towards charity.

Nhamoinesu’s number 26 jersey fetched CZK7 100 (US$300) and it was the third most popular jersey in the bids.

Sparta managed to raise a total of CZK122 559 (US$5 187) from the auction.

The club, one of the most successful in Czech Republic, honoured the dreadlocked defender, who has on several occasions captained the team with a memento jersey marked 200 at the back.

Writing on their Twitter account, Sparta Prague showed their appreciation for the Zimbabwe international by the words, “200 matches for Sparta. The man, the legend … COSTA!!!”

The 34-year-old was excited to reach the landmark.

“We did it together @AC Sparta Praha. Great teamwork and amazing support from fans plus The Ghetto youths (in reference to his fans back home),” Nhamoinesu posted on his social media platforms.

It capped a memorable week for the former Masvingo United star after he and his team had earlier on lifted the Czech Cup after beating FC Slovan Liberec 2-1 in the final, which was his fourth winners’ medal with Sparta Prague in his seven years with the club.

The honours include the country league title which they won in the 2013-14 season and the Czech Super Cup they won in 2014.

This was the second time for the club to win the cup, having lifted it in the 2013-14 season when they completed a memorable Cup double in Nhamoinesu’s debut season.

He has also featured in the Europe club football competitions.

Sparta are currently third on the log standings and were last night set to clash with log leaders Slavia Praha in the two teams’ last games of their regular season.

The top six teams will then play a championship round to decide the league’s champions and the teams that will play in the Uefa Champions League next season.

Nhamoinesu moved to the Czech Republic from Poland in 2013 after turning down interests from Russia, Germany and Turkey.

He has also excelled in the national team colours, having represented the country at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2017.

However, he quit the Warriors in 2018 and missed out on the opportunity to represent the country again at the Afcon finals last year.

Nhamoinesu did not give the reasons why he decided to turn his back on the country.

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