Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi believes that it is high time that Zimbabwe stop worrying about just qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), but should be focused on doing well at the tournament.
The Warriors have never proceeded past the group stages in four Afcon appearances and failed to win a single game at the last two tournaments.
Now to book a berth at the 2021 edition, Zimbabwe have to navigate past a Group which includes Algeria, Zambia and Botswana.
But Munetsi feels that alone should not be considered as an achievement given the caliber of players the Warriors boast of.
“I think we have reached that stage [where just qualification is not enough] now and with the quality we have, it’s all about focusing on the tournament now and not repeat the same mistakes again,” Munetsi told FARPost.
At the 2019 Afcon there were high hopes that the Warriors would reach the knockout stage of the tournament after arriving in Egypt with 10 players who had participated at the previous edition in Gabon two years earlier.
The expectations were also heightened by a revered generation of players who include the likes of Munetsi, Khama Billiat, captain Knowledge Musona, Marvelous Nakamba, Tino Kadewere, Tendayi Darikwa and the experienced Nyasha Mushekwi.
Former Orlando Pirates star Munetsi believes that the current Warriors crop is capable of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup although some of them are ageing.
“From my personal view since I have been with these group of players, we are more than players and we have become a family where everyone is happy with each other and willing to fight for one another on the pitch,” said Munetsi.
“That has helped us gain advantage over our opponents. I don’t see us not going all the way, by God’s grace, to the World Cup.”
Zimbabwe will face old foes South Africa, Ghana and Ethiopia in the World Cup qualifiers.
By Michael Madyira