BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
VERSATILE Warriors defender Alec Mudimu is set to join the elite league of Zimbabwean players who have played in the Uefa Champions League after his Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol were pitted against Fola Esch of Luxemburg in the first round qualifying draw in Switzerland yesterday.
The Moldova champions were one of the 14 seeded sides out of the 34 in the draw whose matches have been scheduled for August 18 and 19.
Mudimu joined Sheriff Tiraspol in January from Welsh side Cefn Druids for an estimated €150 million and has since made five appearances in the club’s first eight matches of the new league season.
Sheriff Tiraspol lead the 2020/21 Moldovan National League having won all their eight matches and Mudimu has contributed one goal and two assists.
In Moldova, Mudimu has been used as a defensive midfielder as well as operating on the left side of the defence.
The 25-year-old Zimbabwe international had his first dance with the Uefa Europa League two years ago following a memorable season with Cefn Druids, but the dream ended in the preliminary stages.
Last year, Sheriff Tiraspol failed to go beyond the first qualifying round after they fell 4-3 on aggregate to Georgian side FC Saburtalo Tbilisi.
Some of the Zimbabwean footballers, who have played in the Uefa Champions League include Benjani Mwaruwari, Marvelous Nakamba and Costa Nhamoinesu, to mention but a few.
In a unique football season marred by the global COVID-19 scourge, the competition will see one-off ties, with extra time and a penalty shoot-out if required.
Winners advance to the Uefa Champions League second qualifying round while all losing sides progress to the Uefa Europa League second qualifying round.