Zimbabweans around the world went to bed beaming with pride last night.
Their talented boy Marvelous Nakamba flew the flag. Nakamba completed his Premier League debut against West Ham. The 25-year-old central midfielder played 80 minutes as Villa held the Hammers to a 0-0 draw.
Playing in the Premier League is not an ordinary achievement. Zimbabwean youngsters saw it with their own eys and are now left with nothing but strong belief.
Is he the first? No. Who else from Zimbabwe has made the nation proud in the world’s best league?
- Bruce Grobbelaar
The retired goalkeeper played for giants Liverpool, and precisely when the Reds dominated England and Europe between 1981 and 1994. Grobbelaar won a staggering 19 trophies which included the domestic league, FA Cups and the champions league. Grobbelaar represented Zimbabwe’s Warriors on 32 occasions.
- Peter Ndlovu
Known as the Bulawayo Bullet, the former striker played for four English sides. He started at Coventry City before playing for Birmingham City, Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United in the lower championship. His Warriors international career was 38 goals in 100 caps.
- Benjani Mwaruwari
Better known as Benjani in England, the former striker arrived in the Premier League in 2006 at Portsmouth. He later played for the likes of Manchester City, Sunderland, and Blackburn Rovers before ending his English chapter at Portsmouth in 2011. Eight goals in 31 appearances was Mwaruwari’s national team contribution.
So, could Nakamba enjoy a long and reward Premier League career like his predecessors? Can he go on to attract the bigger Premier League sides? Perhaps follow in Grobelaar’s steps to join Liverpool?
We’ll have to leave it all to time.
What's next? Nakamba’s Villa have a special trip to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.