Knowledge Musona was regarded as Zimbabwe’s next great player after some impressive performances at Kaizer Chiefs. Musona then moved to the German Bundesliga where he turned out for TSG Hoffenheim before being loaned out to Augsburg. Musona returned briefly to Kaizer Chiefs before moving to Belgium where he currently turns out for KV Oostende.
Musona has been a key figure for the Warriors where he scored several important goals.
9) Adam Ndlovu
Adam Ndlovu played for Highlanders Football Club before moving to Switzerland where he turned out for SC Kriens in 1994. Adamsky as Ndlovu was affectionately known made 62 appearances for Kriens scoring 20 times. Having spent three years at Kriens Adam then moved to SR Delemont where he made 104 appearances while scoring 34 goals before rounding up his stay in Switzerland by turning out for FC Zurich in 2000-2001.
In South Africa Ndlovu turned out for Moroka Swallows, Dynamos and Free State Stars.
Adam Ndlovu was also a part of the dream team which comprised of top players such as Peter Ndlovu, Agent Sawu, Norman Mapeza and Bruce Grobbelaar. Adam Ndlovu died in a car crash on 16 December 2012.
8) Shacky Tauro
Shacky Tauro spent his entire professional career at Caps United. Due to his proficiency in front of goal, Tauro was given the nickname “Mr Goals”. Tauro was named the Rhodesian soccer star of the year in 1979.
7) Fredy Mukwesha
Freddy Mukwesha is a founder member of Zimbabwean giants Dynamos. Mukwesha was instrumental in the glamour boys replacing Salisbury Callies as the top team in Harare.
Freddy Mukwesha is Zimbabwe’s first footballer to play in Europe. Mukwesha was identified when Sporting Braga toured the country to play then Rhodesia in 1965 at the Glamis Stadium. Mukwesha had a blinder of a game against Braga who were quick to snap him up.
Unfortunately during his playing days Rhodesia was banned from international competitions owing to racist policies of the colonial regime.
6) Norman Mapeza
Norman Mapeza ranks as one of the most successful Zimbabwean players after featuring in the Uefa champions league during his days at Galatasary in Turkey. Mapeza began his playing career while at Darryn T before securing a move to Poland where he turned out for SokolPniewy.
Mapeza’s talents would go onto attract the attention of Galatasary where Mapeza featured frequently in the Uefa champions league rubbing shoulders with accomplished players such as Romario, Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs just to name a few.
At international level Mapeza was part of the dream team which was coached by the late ReinhardFabisch.
5) Benjani Mwaruwari
Benjani began his footballing career at Young Blood Football Club in Magwegwe West and also turned out for Highlanders juniors. Mwaruwari also had a stint with Division one outfit Lulu Rovers before moving to Air Zimbabwe Jets where he attracted interest from Jomo Cosmos. At Cosmos Benjani emerged as one of the leading strikers in South Africa.
Mwaruwari then moved to Europe in 2001 after impressing Switzerland topflight outfit Grasshoppers. Benjani switched base to France a year later when he joined French Ligue 1 side AjAuxerre. At Auxerre Mwaruwari featured prominently in the Uefachampions league where he even caught the eye of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Though Wenger did not sign Benjani the Zimbabwean forward was eventually snapped up by then Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp. At Pompy Benjani became a fans favourite and helped the English side land an FA Cup crown in 2008. Benjani’s proficiency as a Portsmouth striker resulted in Manchester City signing the Zimbabwean striker on deadline day. Other English sides Mwaruwari played for are Sunderland and Blackburn. Benjani featured 44 times for the warriors scoring 22 goals.
4) Moses Chunga
Moses Chunga is among the most celebrated footballers Zimbabwe has produced. Bambo as Moses Chunga is affectionately known turned out for Dynamos in the 1980’s. Often described as a dribbling wizard with the ability to crack open any defence, Chunga was nicknamed the “Razor man”. At Dynamos Chunga underlined abilities after scoring 45 goals in a single season.
Following a five year stint at Dembare Chunga moved to Belgian side Eendracht Aalst. In Belgium Chunga built a reputation of being a skilful player with great vision such that a visit made 20 years after his playing career saw him being given a standing ovation by multitudes of the clubs fans.
Although was flourished at club level he really never flourished for his country mainly due to disagreements relating to national team remuneration. Chunga was quoted as having said he did not play for peanuts.
“Chunga was a brilliant individual as well as brilliant team player, he scores 46 goals in the year that he went to Belgium in 1986 and at the same time helped the likes of Gift Mupariwa, Kembo Chunga, Max Makanza reach totals of up to 22, 23, 25 and 28 goals and most of the goals that they scored were as a result of Chunga’s passes. He was so so creative that up until now we have not seen a player with such creativity. We have also not seen a player that is so deadly at set pieces, free-kicks in particular. You will ask Zimbabwe Saints in 1986, after a free-kick was given outside the box the team would walk out because Dynamos had been given a free-kick because they knew Chunga would score”. Stanley Katsande
3) George Shaya
George the mastermind Shaya is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers Zimbabwe has ever produced. With immense talent, Shaya’s talent first came to light during his High School days at St Paul’s High School in Murehwa. It was at St Paul’s where Shaya’s career began to flourish as he turned out for the school in the super league.
Having illustrated his talents Shaya would then join Dynamos. At Dynamos Shaya had a colourful career which saw him scooping a record five soccer star of the year accolades including the inaugural award in 1969. He has often been described as a midfield genius whose moves and dribbling skills tormented defences. Success on the domestic stage saw him being called up to the Rhodesia national team in 1979.
“He is the only Zimbabwean player to win the soccer star of the year award five times and his only misfortune is that he played in the colonial era. I think if Zimbabwe had been in the international arena during his playing days I am sure he could have gone places. He had the ability to change a game almost single handedly, in most of Dynamos’ matches when he was in there Dynamos were a complete team, when he was absent Dynamos were virtually lost. He use to score special goals. He was not greedy in front of goal, he chose to give opportunity to others, he reminds me a lot of the great Lionel Messi, shy on the pitch and never wants to take credit for anything he is willing to let anybody else score than him. He was a gentleman, never in his career did he get a yellow card or a red card”. Charles Mabika
2) Peter Ndlovu
Arguably Zimbabwe’s greatest footballer of all time Peter Ndlovu makes it at number 2. Born and bred in Bulawayo Peter Ndlovu played High School football at Mzilikazi. Ndlovu then became a household name after featuring for Highlanders as a teenager before being spotted by Coventry City who lured him to the English Premiership.
For the Warriors Peter Ndlovu was a loyal servant contributing immensely to Zimbabwe’s maiden qualification at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations staged in Tunisia as well as a second appearance at the 2006 tournament in Egypt.
Quote: “He is the greatest warrior player to don that warriors jersey. He also serves the record of the longest serving African player in England having played for 13 years. He is also only one of two men to score a Hatrick at Anfield against Liverpool one of the greatest giants of European football. He use to turn a match single handedly when the chips were down he could weave his magic and score for the warriors. He use to score some great goals and he is still the highest ever scorer for the warriors with 38 goals to his name”. – Charles Mabika
Quote: “Peter Ndlovu was an exceptionally brilliant individual. If he hit top form then you would know that the opponent would be destroyed”. – Stanley Katsande
The populist opinion would be to put Peter Ndlovu at number 1 on the greatest player of all time top 10 list but achievements on the grand stage place Bruce Grobbelaar on pole position on the greatest footballers of all time top 10 list.
Born in Durban Bruce Grobbelaar grew up in Zimbabwe. Popularly known as the jungleman, Grobbelaar represented Highlanders and Chibuku Shumba before independence. Grobelaar would go onto turn out for Highlands Park and Durban City in South Africa before moving to the United States after attracting interest from Vancouver Whitecap[s of the North American Soccer league. In 1979 Grobbelaar would then move to England where he turned out for Crewe Alexandra.
While at Crewe the “Jungleman” was spotted by Liverpool scout Tom Saunders who encouraged the reds to sign the Zimbabwean goalkeeper for 250 thousand pounds in 1981.
While at Liverpool Grobbelaar would produce some breathtaking performances which made the Zimbabwean goal minder a legend of English football. At Merseyside the jungleman made 627 first team appearances winning six league titles, three FA Cup crowns, three league cups, one European cup crown and a Super cup title.
No other player in Zimbabwe’s history boasts of such achievements on the grand stage. To illustrate Grobbelaar’s impact at Liverpool over 110,000 worldwide voted for their best 10 players in the Anfield clubs history, with Grobbelaar finishing second in the goalkeepers stake.
Apart from his club achievements Bruce Grobbelaar was part of the great Zimbabwean national team named the dream team. Powerful performances by Grobbelaar saw Zimbabwe coming minutes away from qualifying for the 1994 world cup.