The Barcelona Legends flew into the Mozambican capital, Maputo, yesterday where they were given a heroes' welcome on arrival ahead of the first leg of their two-match high-profile tour of Southern Africa which will also see them play the Warriors Legends at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday. The Barca Legends will play the Mozambican Legends tomorrow before flying to Harare for their showdown against their Zimbabwean counterparts.
The Warriors Legends are expected to start trooping into camp today to start their preparations for the high-profile exhibition match. The Zimbabwean players, most of whom have been inactive for some time, need to be at their very best against the Barcelona Legends who have been playing regularly.
ZIFA spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela yesterday said the Zimbabwe Legends team will have time to train under veteran coach Sunday Chidzambwa ahead of the clash. The squad has a mixture of players who made their mark from the 1990s up to the 2000s. Former skipper Ephraim Chawanda has dropped out of the match but Harlington Shereni and Dumisani Mpofu told ZTV last night that they will feature in the match because they believe they have a role to play to keep the football flame alive in the country.
Some of the ex-players who are expected to illuminate the afternoon for the hosts include the likes of Norman Mapeza, Callisto Pasuwa, Kennedy Nagoli, Edward Sadomba, Tinashe Nengomasha, Joel Luphahla and Gift Muzadzi who still look fit for action. The Barcelona Legends arrived in Mozambique yesterday en-route to Zimbabwe.
According to reports from Mozambique, the arrival of the legends of Barcelona was characterised by a carnival atmosphere at the Maputo International Airport. Many Mozambicans flocked to see the stars led by their coach Albert Ferrer and skipper Patrick Kluivert. The other ex-stars like Rivaldo, Deco were scheduled to arrive later after using a different route that took them through Johannesburg.
The visitors are expected to bring a delegation of 30 members, who include 20 players and 10 officials. Three members of the Barcelona TV will also accompany the team.
Zimbabwe Legends Squad
Goalkeepers: Brenna Msiska, Muzondiwa Mugadza, Gift Muzadzi, Japhet Mparutsa.
Defenders: Edelbert Dinha, Charles Yohane, Dumisani Mpofu, Dazzy Kapenya, Bhekithemba Ndlovu, Innocent Chikoya, Harlington Shereni, Thulani Biya Ncube, Norman Mapeza, Kaitano Tembo.
Midfielders: Callisto Pasuwa, Johannes Ngodzo, Kennedy Nagoli, Moses Chunga, Tinashe Nengomasha, Joel Lupahla, Desmond Maringwa, Ronald Sibanda.
Strikers: Edward Sadomba, Agent Sawu, Zenzo Moyo, Benjani Mwaruwari, Peter Ndlovu, Madinda Ndlovu, William Mugeyi, Wilfred Mugeyi, Ian Gorowa.