16 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Soccer Star Denver Mukamba Charms Ndlovu

Warriors legend Peter Ndlovu believes 2012 Soccer Star of the Year Denver Mukamba can be better than him and become the greatest player ever to come out of Zimbabwe.

Mukamba's name was on Friday night engraved in Zimbabwe's football folklore as he became the 10th Dynamos player to be named as the country's best player.

The lanky midfielder who turns 20 this Friday won the admiration of Ndlovu, a two-time Soccer Star of the Year.

Now 21 years after Ndlovu's last crowning moment, the former Warriors captain said Mukamba's talents can help the player acquire a legendary status.

"I would not want to mention names of players who could be like me, but let me say Denver can become better than me," said Ndlovu.

"When I look at his age, I see a bright future ahead. I would love to see him play overseas. I have spoken to Denver and I told him that the challenge for him now is to maintain that level and the next six months would be crucial for him," said Ndlovu.

Although Ndlovu and Mukamba cannot be fitting comparisons due to their different playing positions, many players have failed to fulfil "The Next Peter Ndlovu" hyping.

Shingi Kawondera was once touted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as the heir to Ndlovu's goal-scoring prowess, while recently Knowledge Musona was also likened to the former Birmingham City striker.

The former Highlanders striker was a fresh-faced 17-year-old in 1990 when he was first selected Soccer Star of the Year, a crown he shared with George Nechironga before bagging the title the following year alone.

Having played in England for 13 seasons, Ndlovu feels Mukamba should not get carried away by fame and his successes so far.

"I know how Denver is feeling right now because I once experienced it," said Ndlovu.

"The boy should be well taken care of. The good thing is that he is under the guidance of a tactically-gifted coach at Dynamos. I will tell him that he should not make some of the mistakes that I made in my career. Fame, women and jealousy are some of the impediments that you encounter when you become a football star. Inasmuch as he is young, he has to start planning for life after football now," said Ndlovu.

Mukamba appears to have taken Ndlovu's advice into his stride.

"It is not easy to be where I am but these are results of hard work. I know I have entered into history books but I do not want to carry that in my head all the time. I am not going to relax but will work even more hard," said Mukamba.

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