By the time Zimbabwe face rivals South Africa in a crunch World Cup Group G qualifier in September, it will be exactly 11 years since Knowledge Musona made his Warriors debut.
The Aces Youth Academy graduate made his debut for Zimbabwe at senior level as a 20-year old in September 2010, in an AFCON qualifier against Liberia.
That clash in Monrovia, which ended 1-1 with Musona introducing himself on the biggest stage with a crucial goal for Zimbabwe, who back then were under the tutelage of Norman Mapeza.
Nearly 11 years down the line, Musona, who turned 31 today, is not only the national team captain, but a very influential one on and off the field.
The Smiling Assasin has, since that watershed afternoon in Monrovia, scored 23 goals for Zimbabwe (including friendlies) and is just 15 shy of legendary for skipper Peter Ndlovu’s record tally of 38.
What a player he has gone on to become.
“I remember watching Musona on television when he was at Kaizer Chiefs. I knew he is good but now that I have trained with him, I can say for sure that he is better than I thought,” said Musona’s Warriors teammate Tanaka Chinyahara, ahead of the decisive AFCON qualifier against Botswana last March.
During the build up to that game, which Zimbabwe went on to win 1-0 to book a place at AFCON, Musona’s Warriors teammates were amazed by their captain’s desire to win and to them, that is what makes his unique.
Apparently in a 8 aside practice match during training at the National Sports Stadium, the team which had Musona conceded with the last kick of the game and lost.
The captain, according to his teammates, felt the goal was not a legit one hence the victory could not stand, an arguement which needed the intervention of the technical team to end.
A national treasure we have in Musona.
Happy Birthday Captain!