Barca’s finest in town

The Warriors legends will clash with a Barcelona legends side at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday in a high-profile exhibition match.

By Kevin Mapasure

When retired footballers meet in such matches it is usually just an exhibition and nothing much can be expected from it.

But not when stellar stars such as Rivaldo, Edgar Davids and Patrick Kuivert are in the mix.

The former Barcelona stars who won everything including the Uefa Champions League at club level and the Fifa World Cup are expected to bring Harare to a standstill when they arrive tomorrow and are expected to bring the house down when they take to the field at the National Sports Stadium.

Zimbabwe will be parading some of its best footballers in history with the duo of Peter Ndlovu and Benjani Mwaruwari, who played a lot of their professional football in England, among the country’s finest.

But it is the Brazilian superstar Rivaldo who is is likely to grab all the attention alongside the captain of the Barcelona legends, Patrick Kluivert.

Not since Brazil played a Fifa 2010 World Cup preparatory match against the Warriors have the local fans seen such high-profile stars live in action.

Mwaruwari’s testimonial, played in 2012, brought in its fair share of stars, but not to this extent.

What may be slightly disappointing is the absence of Ronaldinho from the line up after the star had previously been announced as one of the Barcelona legends that would be coming in for this match.

Ronaldinho is a master of exhibition football and even during his playing days he always displayed unimaginable skill with the ball.

His presence would have almost guaranteed enthralling entertainment for the football-loving Zimbabweans who are expected to throng the giant football stadium on Sunday.

Also missing from the list is defender Eric Abidal and Gazika Mendieta who had been expected to make the trip as well.

Rivaldo is probably the most successful player on the list, having won the Fifa Player of the Year in 2000 and the Ballon d’Or in 1999.

Some of the top players that will feature for the Barcelona legends include Francesco Coco, who had a season’s stint while on loan at Barcelona.

Kluivert, Davids and Rivaldo have already been to Zimbabwe before trying to promote this match.

From the Zimbabwe side some of the more active former players include ex captain Norman Mapeza, Kalisto Pasuwa, Lloyd Chitembwe and Tinashe Nengomasha.

Harlington Shereni, who played against some of the Barcelona stars in France, is expected to feature for the Warriors legends.

Sunday Chidzambwa will be the head of the Warriors’ legends technical team.

Barcelona legends squad

Goalkeepers: Angoy, Guzman, Gianluca Zambrotta, Francesco Coco, Edgar Davids, Frederic Dehu, Edmilson, Luis Races, Albert Tomas, Louis Giuly, Julian Belletti, Simao Sabrosa, Giovanni, Patrick Kluivert, Rivaldo.

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