Blessing Malinganiza, Sports Reporter
. . . Warrior impresses against PSG
. . . talks self-confidence
ZIMBABWE international midfielder Marshall Munetsi says self-confidence helped him produce a midfield masterclass to help his side Stade de Reims defeat giants Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 at their backyard in a Ligue 1 encounter Wednesday night.
Munetsi was praised for his display in midfield which saw him providing an assist to Hassane Kamara 29 minutes into the game.
Reims, eighth on the standings with 11 points, four behind leaders PSG, doubled their lead in stoppage time through Boulaye Dia.
French publication, France Football, rated the 23-year-old among the best player on the pitch, 7/10, having managed to deal with the threats of top players like Neymar and Angel Di Maria.
It was the Warriors star’s first start having played consecutive five-minute cameos against Nantes, Lille and AS Monaco.
He produced a rich stats sheet, completing 25 of his 30 attempted passes, translating to an 86 percent completion rate.
“Arriving from South Africa, and more specifically Orlando Pirates, the Zimbabwean had not yet had the opportunity to show himself.
“It’s done, and in what way! Covering every blade of grass, he finished the match with five tackles, the best total of the match, six interceptions and won eleven duels,” reported France Football.
Speaking to H-Metro from his France base yesterday, Munetsi says he feels great to earn in his first start in one of the top leagues in the world.
“It was a great feeling to make my first start as well 90 minutes. I thank God and the manager for giving me the opportunity to play,” said Munetsi.
Asked if he was not anxious to face the world’s best players like Neymar, he said:
“No I wasn’t nervous because I believe in myself and the ability I have and it’s also an opportunity to make a difference in the team.
“I think credit goes to all the players and the manager. We had a game plan and it worked out so it’s all about the team and it’s a very happy team with young players and experienced players also.”
The former Orlando Pirates player told H-Metro that it has been his dream to rub shoulders in duels with top players.
“Without dreaming you won’t achieve and without praying and asking God, you won’t receive the blessings and favour you need in life.
“It’s been amazing to me and my family as l come from humble beginnings and to be here it’s only God’s grace.
“So I thank him for the opportunity and making my dreams come true,” he said.
He hopes the experience he is gaining in the French top-flight will help the Warriors going forward.
“It’s a top level that has top players and it will help me gain experience that I need and also even for the national team.
“So I believe having other players like Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa) and Teenage Hadebe (Yeni Malatyaspor) playing in big leagues also with Tino Kadewere (Le Havre) it will help the nation going forward,” he said.
Munetsi joined Reims on a four-year deal in June after spending three seasons in the Absa Premiership with Pirates and Baroka.