By Grace Chingoma
For Mighty Warriors skipper, Emmaculate Msipa, securing a one-year contract in Europe fulfils the last part of her football dream.
Yesterday, the Black Rhinos Queens player was on cloud nine as she was set to depart for Spain, where she is joining Segunda Division Feminina football side, CF Joventut Almassora.
The 27-year-old star says even if she is to retire after this adventure, she would be satisfied with how her career has panned out.
“I am really happy, I am very excited. I just want to thank God for giving me this opportunity.“It has always been my dream to play in Europe.
“I would always say what I haven’t achieved is an opportunity to play in Europe.“I was the Player of the Year in 2019, before that I had played at the Olympics and scored my first national team goal.
“My remaining goal was to go to Europe,” said Msipa. Her first dream was playing for the Mighty Warriors and she achieved that 12 years ago.
She was hungry of an international stage and a bigger platform, a break which came in 2016, when Zimbabwe made history and qualified for the Olympics.
Despite the team’s poor performance at the Summer Games, where they came up against top-ranked in women’s football, she chose the platform to score her first goal for the Mighty Warriors against New Zealand.
Three years later, she was voted the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe 2019 Player of the Year after a fruitful season with both her club Black Rhinos and the Mighty Warriors.
That season she scored 24 goals in 27 appearances, helping the army team win the league title for a record-extending 10th time.
The former Mufakose Queens midfielder was spotted during the 2019 COSAFA Championships in South Africa.
During the tournament at the Nelson Mandela Bay, Msipa was voted twice as the player of the match.
In one of the matches, she ran riot against Eswatini scoring four goals in the 7-0 win in the group matches where Zimbabwe also thrashed Mozambique 4-0 and Angola 4-1.
The Mighty Warriors returned home with a bronze medal, after they were denied a place in the final by hosts South Africa, who lifted the COSAFA Cup.
Her performance at the tournament, where she finished as the third best goal scorer with six goals, behind Zambian Rachel Nachula who scooped the Golden Boot having scored ten goals, was enough to convince the scouts.
Her Senegalese agent first lined up a move to Turkey last year but, due to Covid-19 disturbances, the move was put on ice after she failed to secure a visa due to travel restrictions.
“I went to COSAFA again in 2020 but my agent kept assuring me that once the Covid-19 pandemic improves, they will facilitate my move.
“I had many agents, but the one from Senegal facilitated this deal. “It is a one-year-contract performance-based contract.
“The club immediately want me to take part in the Champions’ League competition but, due to Covid-19, processing the paperwork was slow.
“I should have joined the team and trained with them for a longer period,” said Msipa. Msipa hopes her move will inspire a lot of upcoming girls to pursue the game.
She will become the second Mighty Warrior to play in Spain, after forward, Rutendo Makore, played there during the 2017/2018 season, and scored three goals in nine games, for Sporting de Huelva.
Previously, former Mighty Warriors skipper and goalkeeper, Onai Chingawo and midfielder Marjoury Nyaumwe, went to Germany for an attachment, which was facilitated by former ZIFA technical adviser, Dieter Klaus Pagels.
Former Mighty Warriors defender, Ruvimbo Mutyavaviri, went to Sweden in 2003 and was attached for three months at Kalmar Football Club.
The club then was home to Warriors midfielder, Archiford Gutu, and the attachment was facilitated by Gutu’s manager Calvin Nyazema.
Black Rhinos Queens official, Panganai Mahachi, said the player will sign the contract straight after touching down as virtually everything has been agreed.
“Yes, our player Emmaculate Msipa is scheduled to leave for Spain tomorrow (Tuesday) where she will sign a one-year deal with CF Joventut,” he said.
“She won’t undergo any trials as the club has already expressed their satisfaction after following her over the years.
“As Black Rhinos Queens, we are very satisfied and we wish her all the best,” said Mahachi. The Herald