Magaya brings down the house

DEFT TOUCH . . . Walter Magaya (right) passes the ball with his outfoot while Ronald Sibanda watches during the exhibition match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday

DEFT TOUCH . . . Walter Magaya (right) passes the ball with his outfoot while Ronald Sibanda watches during the exhibition match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday

Sports Reporters
PROPHETIC Healing and Deliverance Ministry founder Prophet Walter Magaya might not have previously played for the Warriors but he lived his dream yesterday as he literally brought the house down after receiving vociferous applause when he featured in a Zimbabwe against Barcelona Legends exhibition tie at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

The soccer-mad prophet was introduced as a second half substitute late on but even the visiting former Barcelona stars could not resist but marvel at his iconic status as very touch he made was greeted with huge cheers from the terraces.

Magaya, who has been ZIFA’s all-weather friend with his benevolence benefiting the association especially with the national teams, was invited to play as a guest of the association in the match which featured former Warriors stars and the Barcelona counterparts.

The prophet had earlier been appointed liaison officer of the team when the squad was being assembled before being invited to be part of the team.

On his part Magaya offered the two teams in the exhibition match, accommodation facilities and transport to the match venue.

The prophet might not have turned up for the national team but he used to feature for his Yadah Stars when they were still a Division One side.

Yesterday he not only lined up together with some of the players he idolised while growing up but also brought the house down, initially capturing attention when the Warriors legends were warming up before the decibels hit the roof, the moment he was about to be introduced late on in the second half.

A host of Magaya’s PHD congregants skipped the church’s afternoon service to join thousands of Zimbabweans drawn from different sectors and races who thronged the National Sports Stadium to watch yesterday’s match.

Although ZIFA’s critics, some of whom appear more obsessed with negativity, might have been quick to out that Magaya should not have been included in the squad, it is a trend the world over that gust players can be invited for exhibition matches.

More importantly it is ZIFA who are entrusted with running the Warriors brand and that they decided to repay one of their major benefactors with an invitation to feature in an exhibition was as good a decision as they come as the prophet also lured with him hordes of his followers to the stadium.

The 34-year-old prophet, who was introduced as a 75th minute substitute for Johannes Ngodzo and the crowd erupting into a frenzy when the public address system announcer confirmed that he was coming on for the former Highlanders man.

Magaya did not disappoint either, making some deft touches and fine passes in a game that also featured former greats like Edgar Davids, Ludovic Giuly, Francesco Coco, Gianluca Zambrotta, Frederick Degu and Giovanni Silva.

His first touch, an out-footer to Edward Sadomba which was followed by a string of fine passes from the middle where he played alongside the likes of Tinashe Nengomasha, Ronald Sibanda, Harlington Shereni and Desmond Maringwa silenced some doubting Thomases.

In the end many in the crowd were left calling on ZIFA to arrange more of such games. Such sentiments were also echoed by skipper Peter Ndlovu who said the Warriors Legends need to maintain the tradition of playing such matches regularly and paid tribute to the backing by the thousands who braved the persistent threat of an afternoon shower to watch their yesteryear heroes.

“We hope this is not the only time the supporters come just because this is Barcelona. Even if we play South Africa Legends or Namibia Legends these are the kinds of things that keep us together as a country.

“You know there is a lot that’s going on at the moment in our country but football will always unite us.

“Even the Vice-President came here to watch football. So this is the place where people should be holding hands.

“Of course when called and as long as it really doesn’t clash with work but for our country it’s always important that it comes first.

“I had to ask from Mamelodi Sundowns personally and we also have coaches here.

“Kaitano Tembo is at SuperSport and preparing for a cup final (CAF Confederation Cup) but when Zimbabwe calls in he puts it first,” said Ndlovu.

The visitors got their first goal when Davids sent in an inviting cross that was headed home from close range by Kluivert five minutes into the game.

The Dutchman returned three minutes later with another crisp header that gave goalkeeper Brenna Msiska no chance after Davids was brought down on the edge of the box by Dinha.

Rivaldo stepped up and curled in a quality delivery from the dead ball.

They could have made it three on the 23rd minute when Rivaldo threaded a neat pass through the middle and William Mugeyi had to make a desperate clearance after Kluivert had beaten the goalkeeper with a slight touch.

But the finest moment of the afternoon was when Zenzo Moyo’s big frame defied gravity and met a cross flighted in from the right by Ronald Sibanda in the 54th minute with a bicycle kick that was rich in quality. Another second half substitute Sadomba also weighed in with a beautiful strike that beat the keeper Angoy from a distance.

Warriors Legends coach Sunday Chidzambwa said they drew a lot of lessons from the high level of organisation of Barcelona Legends who were coming from another exhibition match against Mozambique on Saturday.

“This was a good outing for the fans and all of us. We saw some former players playing very good football. As coaches we also learnt one or two things from the Barcelona Legends. They are old but they can still play football.

“I think we need more of these games. It’s entirely up to the mother body. Players like Ronald Sibanda, Desmond Maringwa are still able to entertain people and I think we need a bit of sponsorship so that we have more of these kind of games,” said Chidzambwa.

Barcelona Legends spokesperson Rayco Garcia said the visit by the legends was worthwhile.

“We are very happy. It was a very competitive match. We gave a nice spectacle. I think all the people enjoyed with us.

They had an opportunity to come to the stadium where they saw the local stars and the international stars of Barcelona. For us it’s a pleasure to be in this country, to see and feel the passion of the local people,” said Garcia.

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  • smlevu

    You can find the story on our sundaymail website http://www.sundaymail.co.zw

  • Makandigaya

    @ Todyamarara. These guys are fools and blinkered. These people are not in search of God but riches and they hang on Magaya to get something. Magaya Church is thier 3rd if not 5th church. They are all in search of prosperity not God. See how they were planted at the national stadium and they were coached to cheer, dress and stay together . am sure they were all bused and entrance paid for. So what do you expect from them. Just like the politicians they will see that he is a fack, when God exposes him Just like what we currently seing. Days to the build up of the match the team was announced neither was he on the Guest Players. an arm twist was done, “I supply the this you let me in”. The first role he was given to him was not enough and was not going to sell his Church.

  • ME

    THUMBS UP MY PROPHET,YOU ARE A STAR..GODO IRORO NDORINOKUSIMBISAI…..KALLISTO ‘MARABHUBDU’ PASUWA HAAAA WAKAPENGA MDARA AGE YAKO NEMATOUCH AWAIROVA NA DUMI!!!!!!!!UUUMMM KANA VANE GODO RAKANYUNGUDUKA…HAIL THE GREAT MIDFIELD KINGPIN “GIDIZA WE NEED YU BACK..AFTER ALL WE GOT A CHANCE TO HAVE ENTERTAINMENT WITH OUR FAMILIES…THERE IS NO NID FOR NEGATIVITY APA WE WERE ENTERTAINED THATS ALL…#BRINGBACKGIDIZA…#

  • http://www.siemens.com/ Yadah Gunner

    You are cannot put rules on a game you didn’t plan bro! Ask the organizers.

  • Asa

    I thought this was a match for those who played for the warriors, but to pick on Magaya was really an insult to other players who were not even considered for the line up for example John Phiri. This is why Chawanda snubbed this otherwise nobble idea.

  • tapinda

    Continue dishing out your hard earned cash and remain poor. Who cares?

  • Sipambi_263

    Yah Magaya bough the honour not just this time around but now his “legendary” association with the national team. Of course this is debatable but I think it was all fun despite your strong and almost convincing point. I would like to agree with you “in the strongest terms” on your last point….let us debate (having different opinions) but LET US DESIST FROM CALLING EACH OTHER NAMES NOR SWEARING AT EACH OTHER.

  • Todyamarara

    I totally get you.. they could have called the team a Magaya select.. and I would certainly not have questioned his inclusion…Pakuzonzi makaura?? and am thinking we need rational desputation…

  • Todyamarara

    Spot on that is the point that is being missed by a lot of people

  • http://www.siemens.com/ Yadah Gunner

    thats the way you think, always negative is it wrong if people go to church?

    • Gary WekuZviyambe

      Human beings have been on earth for over 30,000 years and survived the harshest of environments. Religions have been practiced for around 4,000 years only but has done noting to advance our lives. In fact, religion has tried very hard to fight science, persecuting scientists for stating that the earth is round and is not the centre of the universe as claimed by religions. Science, not religion, has shown that diseases are caused by germs, not demons. Yet churches continue to perpetuate these old myths. Poverty requires concrete solutions and hard work, not payments of tithes

  • Masaisai

    Iwewe neni I think we agree on our view of Magaya the normal “prophet”, just assuming. Here we are at variance because you seem to tag in your view of the “prophet” in usual circumstances and his playing in the tournament. There is no kick back here. He has been assisting soccer on several occasions and I’m sure he will continue to do so. He is no stranger to soccer, so his inclusion should be viewed as part of “dining with the host”. What’s wrong with that? Besides let’s not elevate this event to lofty status. The legends are moving from one country to the next as tourists. The event was neither FIFA sanctioned nor was it driven by the government.

  • Masaisai

    My apologies for offending you. Just to correct something here. The event was not a national one. No Warriors were involved. As you know well, this was a tour of Barcelona Legends, a team of oldies who once played for Barcelona, practically a tourist ensemble. They played a mix of legends and unknowns of Mozambique. It had nothing to do with National Institutions. We don’t have Soccer Legends in our definition of national institutions in this country.

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    Religion is completely useless. It is a tool used to control the minds and lives of the weak.

  • Symbol

    Haaaaaa vakomana, kana ukaita tsuro hozoti chii?

  • Symbol

    Handisati ndambonzwa akamanikidzwa

  • Symbol

    Kudzanayi Chipanga anoziva kwairi

  • Symbol

    Kkkkkkk

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    Please consult a dictionary for the meaning of the word “more”

    • Weston Mugocha

      Vigilant.