Who was the greatest Zim player of all time?

JOHANNESBURG - I was having a chat with Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim Shakes Mashaba this week when he took me down the memory lane regarding Mzansi football and some of its past heroes.

Although Mashaba is considered one of the greatest defenders ever, the Bafana mentor was modest in naming a host of other players as the greatest South Africans ever to play the game of soccer and excluded himself.

And apart from Benni McCarthy and a bit of Lucas Radebe, the late John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu of the later generation; those who dominated the list were from the old, old guard.

Among those he mentioned as some of the greatest football players to come out of Mzansi were the likes of Jomo Cosmos owner, Jomo ‘Troublemaker’ Sono, Lucas ‘Masterpieces’ Moripe, Kaizer ‘Chincha Guluva’ Motaung and the late Steve ‘Kalamazoo’ Mokone.

It was a sobering discussion in which he went further to tell me the exploits of some of the oldies from Zimbabwe who used to come and play for Moroka Swallows, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

The most prominent ones according to Mashaba were the likes of Ebson ‘Sugar’ Muguyo, Max ‘Shaluza’ Tshuma, Daniel ‘DC’ Chikanda etc.

What surprised me is that I didn’t know that the likes of George ‘Mastermind’ Shaya, Ernest Kamba and David Muchineripi also played prominent roles in shaping Mzansi soccer.

And when he asked me in turn who I consider to be the greatest footballer of all time in Zimbabwe dating back to old times, I must admit I was flummoxed by being put on the spot.

Having grown up in the deep rural areas, the first live game I watched was soon after independence at Rufaro Stadium between CAPS United and Zimbabwe Saints.

Yet, my old folks used to tell me about the exploits of Shaya, Kamba, Peter Nyama and the likes. I must admit, I never saw much of those players in action save for Shaya during the twilight of his career.

I saw Moses Chunga from the beginning to the end. Being one who never liked Dynamos’ dominance, I must admit though, the Razorman was in a league of his own.

He had pace, great physique, eye for goals and was a dribbling wizard. Here is a player who would perform for his club and country week in, week out on constant basis.

I have heard people talk about the Ndlovu brothers Madinda, Adam and Peter as some of the greatest players to ever grace Zimbabwe but, while I admit they were special players, I don’t think they come any way closer to Chunga.

While, discipline was not the Razorman’s biggest attribute, I still think he is the greatest footballer ever to come out of Zimbabwe.

He captained the Zimbabwe Warriors to relative success but when it comes to a complete player, Chunga was a class act.

Yes, the likes to the late Shackman Tauro was a goalscorer par excellence but in Chunga, Dynamos and Zimbabwe had a player who with good marketing could have set the globe alight.

Who do you readers think must be ranked as the greatest player of all time, current crop of players included?

 

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