Zimbabwe currently lie in 131st place on the FIFA rankings list. In 1995 however they were a lot higher up the football ladder in 40th place.
The country’s finest football export has no doubt been Peter Ndlovu, a former Coventry City, Birmingham City and Sheffield United striker who is the national team’s all time leading goal scorer with 38 goals.
Currently Manchester City striker Benjani Mwaruwari is the country’s best known player internationally.
Zimbabwe has never made it as far as the World Cup finals. They first entered into the African Cup of Nations qualifiers in 1982, qualifying for the first time for the tournament proper in 2004. The only other time the ‘Warriors’ reached the finals was in 2006 – on both occasions they were eliminated after the first round.
In the 2010 World and African Cup qualifiers, Zimbabwe ended third in their group, ahead of Namibia, but behind Kenya and Guinea. They managed a win over Namibia, and three draws – two against Guinea and one against Kenya. Gilbert Mushangisike was the top goal-scorer in the qualifier, with two goals.
Mushangisike is one of a host of Zimbabweans who have made their mark on the South African Premier League over the years, previously winning the top goal-scorer of the season award while with Manning Rangers.
Around half of the current international side play their football back home, while others ply their trade in England, France, South Africa, Belgium and Poland.
The local league –
the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League, was founded in 1962. It comprises
16 clubs, with Dynamos historically being the team to beat over the years
– they have won 18 titles – next best are Highlanders with
seven championships to their name.
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