By Danisa Masuku
After his father dazzled the soccer scene with his skills and scoring prowess that took him to foreign soils which by design or skill to be fair is a preserve for the best, in comes the offspring.
After he called time on his illustrious soccer career Benjani Mwaruwari, who played for Manchester City and Portsmouth football clubs among the glamorous outfits in England, his 14-year-old son who is a spitting image of him and is christened Benjani Mwaruwari junior is on a mission to script his own piece of history.
The towering 14-year-old who will be turning 15 soon said he believed in himself and would not compare himself to his father.
“Of course my father wore his golden crown that touts him as a soccer hero both in Europe and in Africa. I will not let his glamour distract my attention because I’m my own person. I believe in myself,” he said.
“I’m aiming higher in life and I have purposed in my heart to reach greater heights like soccer greats such as former Manchester United forward sensation Wayne Rooney because I like his scoring techniques and tactics and I’m also inspired by my father,” he said.
The lad who was born in France while his father was turning out for Auxerre FC and raised in England paid tribute to his father for taking him under his wings.
“My father has played a pivotal role in my soccer career. He dedicates his spare time to teaching me how to use my left foot since I use my right, what to do with a soccer ball on first touch, and how to time my speed when I’m having a ball and how to effectively use my head to score. That has worked in my favour because I won accolades for being the best striker at my school,” he said.
How did he did find himself in Portsmouth Soccer Academy?
His father chips in and explains: “There was a scout from Portsmouth FC when Junior was playing for a local social team. His stellar play caught his eye and he immediately signed him. He was surprised when he noticed that he is a Mwaruwari and asked who his father was and my wife Thembi told him that it was my son and he was happy about that. He told him that he is a rough diamond that needs to be refined.”
The lad revealed that he is also an athlete and does swimming but his favourite sport code is soccer.
“I love soccer. I think I’m good at it and will pursue it to great heights although I cannot rule out any chance of finding myself in the athletics field,” he said.
He dreams of turning out for Zimbabwe national team and big teams in Europe.
“I love Zimbabwe and I’m a great follower of the Warriors, as such I would like to play for Zimbabwe national team in future. I was happy after they beat Zambia national team and my father told me Joey Antipas is the first national team coach to beat Zambia in an Afcon qualifier in five meetings between the two sides. My favourite players in the Warriors’ are Marvelous Nakamba and Khama Billiat. I would also like to play for big teams here in England; my first team of choice is Portsmouth FC,” he said. B-Metro