Best of the Best

Kaitano Tembo was a tough-as-teak defender during his playing days. He was reliable at Dynamos, Supersport United (SA) and for The Zimbabwe Warriors. He rates his best of the best.

Kaitano Tembo
Kaitano Tembo

Best striker l came up against;

This should be Africa’s most celebrated striker – Samuel Eto’o (Fils) during the 2004 Orange Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia (Zimbabwe lost 3-5). The Cameroonian gave me all sorts of problems in that game. He is skilful, speedy and a great finisher even on air.

Best coach l worked with;

There were many, but Sunday Marimo (now Chidzambgwa) who was my coach at Dynamos and later with the Warriors, remains my best.

He introduced me to professional football and from him I learnt the craft of the game. Not only was he always helpful as a coach, but was a father who also taught me discipline. With him on my side, it was always easy for me to excel.

Best team-mate;

Makwinji Soma-Phiri at both Dynamos and during his stint at SuperSport, where we became team-mates again. A striker himself, he gave me a lot of insights into those creatures, which was very valuable to me. We won many trophies together at Dynamos.

Best defender l played with;

It was the late Francis Shonhai, with whom I formed a solid defence at Dynamos and in the national team. He had good communication skills and I learnt a lot from him, even though he used to shout at me a lot during games. I will always remember him for his discipline and high work-rate. He was my captain at both club and national team level.

Best Ever Zimbabwean defender;

Francis Shonhai stood shoulders above the rest. He had the best football brains any coach or player ever needed in their squad. He was such a classy defender and great reader of the game. He made defending look simple.

Best team l played for;

Dynamos. They were well organized and had quality players. We won a lot of trophies in the 1992-97 seasons. The players we had at that time were magnificent.

Best game of my career

In 1998, when we had beaten Feroviario de Maputo 1-0 at home in the African Champions League, we drew 1-1 away. That second game was emotional. The match had to be stopped for 30 minutes after their supporters threw missiles into the pitch. Teamwork was one of our strongest points.

Best season of my career

It can only be the 1995 season, when I won the league title and many other trophies with Dynamos. I played injury free and with the experience I had gained from the national team. Our striking department had lethal players like Soma-Phiri, TauyaMurewa, VitalisTakawira and Claudius Zviripayi, who deserved to play in any big league in the world.

My best line up of my career

With no doubt the Dynamos that scooped almost everything in 1995, with players like Gift Muzadzi, AngiraiChapo, Zviripayi, myself, Shonhai, AloisGodzi, Memory Mucherawowa, Garikai Zuze, Llyod Mutasa, Murewa and Takawira. We contributed a lot in the Dynamos classic.

My Zimbabwe best 11

Bruce Grobbelaar, Mercedes Sibanda, Oliver Kateya, Ephraim Chawanda, Francis Shonhai, Memory Mucherawowa, Benjamin Nkonjera, Rahman Gumbo, Agent Sawu, Vitalis Takawira and Peter Ndlovu. These players lived for football and could face any team in the world.

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