By Trevor Makonyonga
Since 1980, Zimbabwe has participated in many sporting activities. We have been successful and sometimes failed but in the bumpy ride we have managed to have our own legends. We have memories, both good and bad, that are stuck to our heads forever. In the name of entertainment, some things just happen and heroes and villains are made in the same light.
The soccer team of the Independence period did not come easy as many talented people graced the beautiful teapot nation. Here goes the team:
Goalkeeper Bruce Grobelaar. This was not an easy choice since the big lad was rocked in matchfixing scandals during his days at Liverpool. Could have went for Gift “Umbro” Muzadzi but had to settle for Bruce. He was controversial yet very talented.
The right back, Rambo. The late Mercedes Sibanda was a massive talent both for Bosso and the national team. He was versatile in defence and chosing him at right back was really a no brainer.
Centre Backs. On Central Defence the pairing would have to be Norman “Nomara” Mapeza and Francis “Sandura” Shonhayi. Nomara having played in the UEFA Champions League for Galatasray, his stakes were always high no wonder he has turned out to be a good coach.
They were the core of defence during the dream team era. Undisputed talents.
Left back, Harrington Shereni. He was great both on attack and defence. He did well for Dynamos and the National Team before leaving for France.
Defensive midfielder, Yellow. Esrom Nyandoro would easily sit at the edge of the centre circle in the defensive half. He further solidified Nomara and Sandura in the heart of defence.
Central Midfielder, Father. Partnering Esrom but with a roving role would be Tinashe Nengomasha. He was great for South African Giants Kaizer Chiefs and easily transfered his form to the national team.
Attacking midfielder, Gidiza. Ronald Sibanda would easily take that spot on the edge of the centre circle in the attacking half. Gidiza was a genius with the ball, crafty and artistic with the ball. His feet were accurate as if they measurements tools on strength and precision.
He was a class above the rest.
Left attacking forward, Digital. No one can name a Zimbabwean team and argue with the class of this fellow. Vitalis Zviripayi-Takawira was menacing in front of goal and could score for fun.
Right attacking forward, Bambo. Again this mention is a no brainer. While Digital was menacing, Moses “Bambo” Chunga was predatory.
Centre forward, Sukuzonke. With Digital being menacing and Bambo being predatory, only a lethal Peter Ndlovu would complete the team.
Having done so well for Coventry City in the English Premiership, Peter is arguably the greatest footballing export the country has produced.
Special mentions would be Johannes “Signature” Ngodzo and Desmond “Gaza” Maringwa. Great talented lads whose careers were cut short by injuries.
- Andy Flower (WK, Captain.)
- Neil Johnson
- Hamilton Masakadza
- Brendan Taylor
- Grant Flower
- Tatenda Taibu
- Guy Whittal
- Graeme Cremer
- Heath Streak
- Eddle Brandes
- Henry Olonga
These teams could have taken Zimbabwe miles ahead.