Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE captain, Knowledge Musona, celebrated his 31st birthday yesterday, amid a wave of pleas from Kaizer Chiefs fans for the Warriors star to return to the South African giants.
His 31st birthday comes at a time when his future in Europe, where he has been based in Belgium, for some time, now uncertain despite having another season left on his contract with Anderlecht.
Reports have suggested Musona might part company with the Belgian giants who have been loaning him to other clubs, with indications showing he could secure a permanent move to KAS Eupen.
The Smiling Assassin had a very successful loan spell at KAS Eupen, in the last Belgian top-flight season, but the decision by the coach, who appeared to have faith in his talent, to move elsewhere, could derail a possible return.
While there has been genuine interest from South African clubs, his handlers have indicated that many of them could find it difficult to pay the wages which a contract with the Warriors skipper would demand.
The media-shy skipper posted his picture, accompanied by a message, on his Twitter page.
“Grateful to God for another year. Happy birthday to me,” he tweeted.
His latest birthday also comes exactly 10 years since Musona first left Chiefs, after signing a five-year deal, with Bundesliga side, TSG Hoffenheim.
“(Musona) has shown that he can score for club and country and we want to build up on this potential,” the then Hoffenheim coach, Holger Stanislawski, said when Musona’s deal was confirmed.
The striker, who was a big success at the Amakhosi, suggested he would one day return.
“I would like to thank everyone at Kaizer Chiefs, for everything they have helped me with since the beginning of my pro career,” he said.
‘‘I hope one day I will be back – I will never forget my time at Chiefs.”
While he returned, for a loan spell, the Amakhosi fans want him to come back for good and fire their team back to glory, on the domestic front, after years of struggles.
That was the underlying tone of their messages to his Warriors teammates, Khama Billiat and Willard Katsande, after the Chiefs’ duo posted messages, on Twitter, congratulating their national team skipper.
‘‘Happy birthday captain,’’ posted Billiat, who is currently injured, and missed his team’s sensational victory over Wydad Casablanca, in a CAF Champions League semi-final, first leg match, on Saturday.
Katsande, who was replaced by Musona as the Warriors skipper, also used Twitter to congratulate his compatriot.
‘‘Happy birthday my bro(ther),’’ the ageless midfielder tweeted.
And, it unleashed a number of tweets, from Chiefs fans, pleading with the Smiling Assassin to return to the Amakhosi.
Here are some of the messages they sent to Billiat and Katsande.
@ndlovu_nk: ‘‘Please bring him back, in return we will keep you for two seasons.’’
@Krack251: ‘‘Come on secret agent, finalise the deal.’’
@VutiviLazarus: ‘‘Convince him to come to #Naturena next season, we will extend you contract chief.’’
@Nisto47795249: ‘‘Tell him Khosi Nation misses him, he must come home.’’
@Tbose01: ‘‘We need your service. We need aggressive strikers, we can’t let Sundowns dominate. Only us can fight Sundowns, our neighbours (Orlando Pirates) are useless.’’
@KHEBEST_: ‘‘He can now come home.’’
@Bafana_GOKU: ‘‘Happy birthday to Musona, now Willard, tell him to come back home to Naturena.’’
@Sifiso_Gumede: ‘‘Willard please send him the KC (Kaizer Chiefs) pre-season programme, he must come back and enjoy the good life at the big team.’’
@SydneySensatio1: ‘‘Tell him we wanna welcome him with the warm hands, we really need this guy my brother.’’
@Edwin_Henya: ‘‘Katsande please tell us he’s coming back to Kaizer Chiefs, we won’t tell anyone, we promise.’’
@pekzar87: ‘‘Happy birthday to my all-time favourite, former Kaizer Chiefs striker, Knowledge Musona.’’