By Godknows Matarutse
Despite leading Zimbabwe to a second straight Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament, skipper Knowledge Musona has played down the notion that the current generation of Warriors’ players are the best in the history of the country’s football.
Musona finished the 2019 Afcon qualifiers on five goals two behind Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo, who was the leading scorer with seven goals, and one behind Fiston Razak of Burundi, who had six goals from as many matches.
The Lokeren forward together with Khama Billiat were on target on Sunday at the National Sports Stadium as the Warriors booked their place at the finals to be held in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.
Zimbabwe finished as Group G winners with 11 points while the Democratic Republic of Congo was in second place with nine points.
For Musona, the tournament in Egypt will be his second straight having also led Zimbabwe to the 2017 edition when Willard Katsande was still the team’s captain.
This achievement has ignited the debate whether this current crop of players are better than the Dream Team of the 90s.
The late Reinhard Fabisch’s side was laden with a number of talented players including the legendary Peter Ndlovu, the late Benjamin Nkonjera, Rahman Gumbo and Ephraim Chawanda but they failed to qualify for any major tournament.
“I think all our teams who played before us have been great and we just took over from them,” Musona said.
“I think there are more great things to come from other young guys coming but we have the best players at the moment.”
Speaking on the team’s fourth qualification for the continent’s biggest football showcase, Musona credits the whole team for a job well done.
“It feels good but obviously, I must give credit to my teammates because I wasn’t playing alone. We had a very good campaign, we started very well and we finished very well,” Musona said.
“So the credit goes to the team and the coaches as well. Overall, I think we had a good campaign.”
Musona is hoping they will have enough time in camp to prepare for the tournament later this year.
Zimbabwe has always shot themselves in the foot ahead of Afcon tournament due to a lack of proper preparations.
Before the 2017 finals, the players went on strike as they clashed with Zifa over bonuses and appearance fees.
“Now that we have qualified, I think we need to go back to our clubs and play regularly,” Musona said.
“We have to try and have a good camp and good games before the tournament so that we can prepare ourselves well. The key is to have good preparation and the rest will obviously fall into place.” DailyNews