France-based stars aim to emulate Benjani

FRANCE-BASED Zimbabwean football players Tino Kadewere and Marshall Munetsi are looking to follow in the footsteps of former Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari, who made a huge impact during his stint at AJ Auxerre, where he scooped the player of the month award in two successive months.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

The former Warriors striker, who was on the books of Jomo Cosmos and had a one-season stint with Swiss club Grasshoppers, moved to AJ Auxerre in 2002 after impressing Guy Roux.

He immediately made an impact, burying opponents under an avalanche of goals which won him the player gong for the month of September and October, overshadowing the likes of Didier Drogba.

Then, Drogba was playing for French Ligue 1 side Guingamp before he switched to Olympic Marseille and then to English Premiership side Chelsea where he eventually established himself as one of the world’s greatest forwards.

Although Mwaruwari later moved to Portsmouth and then Manchester City, he had already left an indelible mark in the French Ligue 1 and it appears Kadewere and Munesti are on course to repeating the same feat.

Kadewere was named in the Sofascore’s Ligue 1 Team of the Week after he rose from the bench on Sunday to score a brace, which saw his side overturn a first half deficit to win 2-1 against St Etienne.

Sofascore, a football statistics website, gave him a performance rating of 8,5, the second highest in the team.

Munetsi was in last week’s Team of the Week following a commanding performance in Stade de Reims’ 2-1 victory. Whether the pair would be able to match the bar set by Mwaruwari remains to be seen.

Munetsi had been included in the Warriors squad that played against reigning African Champions Algeria in the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifier in Algiers last night but missed out after his club Stade de Reims claimed he was injured.

Zifa, however, have formally written to the club demanding the release of the player for further assessment by Warriors’ doctors.

Should he be released and certified fit, he is certain to play in the second leg in Harare on November 16.

There are no problems though for Kadewere who was expected to lead the Warriors attack last night.

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