A lot has changed since Tinotenda Kadewere last played for the Zimbabwe.
By Lawrence Tichaona Mangenje
Owing to an interplay of several reasons, the lanky striker has not donned the gold and green Warriors strip for over a year.
He last represented the country on Sunday the 30th of June 2019, at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo when then coach Sunday ‘Mhofu’ Chidzambwa introduced him in the second half of the embarrassing 0-4 defeat to DRC at AFCON.
After the continental spectacle in Egypt, which ended badly for the Warriors, the Highfield-bred star scored 20 goals and provided four assists in an unforgettable 2019/20 season for French Ligue 2 side Le Havre and it came as no surprise when Olympique Lyon paid a reported €13 million for his signature before the campaign even ended.
While the debate on whether or not Kadewere will command a regular place in Rudi Garcia’s team can go on until the cows come home, what is not up for discussion is that many expect him to replicate the form which has seen him make headlines in France, on national duty.
Admittedly, the former Harare City man has not lived up to expectations at national level, though it also has be noted that he hasn’t gotten many chances either.
The brilliant equaliser against Chipolopolo at COSAFA 2018 is perhaps the only moment fans can think of in an attempt to hollow out his flashes for the Zimbabwe.
What better chance for Kadewere to change all that, than the upcoming crucial double-header against Algeria?
If he leads the Warriors attack and somehow propels them to victory over the Desert Foxes, many, if not all, will cast a blind eye on the fact that he has scored only two goals for Zimbabwe since making his debut against Comoros in 2015.
Can Tino repay the affection of arguably his biggest fan; one gentleman from Croatia named Zdravko Logarušić, who braves the poor internet connection in Zimbabwe to watch the striker rub shoulders with some of Europe’s finest in the French top-flight, at every given opportunity.
Having called Logarušić one Sunday evening after Kadewere opened his account for Lyon against Strasbourg to ask of his thoughts, the Croat detailed the goal comprehensively, to substantiate that he was glued to the television watching, before showering him with praise.
Can Tino give Moses “Bambo” Chunga, whose ‘prophecy’ years ago that the striker would become of the best players in the country is slowly coming to pass, another reason to brag, by leading the Warriors attack and end the Algerians’ well-documented unbeaten streak?
Can Tino finally come to light in gold and green?