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The southern African region in the past 10-years has seen massive changes with the regional giants, however, shrinking and underdogs making it big on the continental level.

From the emergency of Madagscar who stormed the quater finals of the previous Africa cup, to Comoros qualifying for the first time this year , to Malawi booking a place at next year’s edition for the first time in 11-years , and finally Zimbabwe qualifying back to back.

South Africa last made an appearance at Afcon in the previous edition while the chipolopolo of Zambia have missed three times consecutively and have failed to regain their winning glory since 2015.

However, Zimbabwe who made their debut at the Africa cup of nations in 2004 have recently produced some of the best players to come out of the southern African region playing in Europe’s top leagues and are becoming a strong force to reckon with in the region as they have qualified to the last three afcon editions.

The warriors who struggled to make another appearance at the Africa cup of nations after their second appearance in 2006 had to wait for 11-years to make a return in 2017 and since then they maintained their mojo and qualified to the continent’s biggest football tournament again in 2019 and they will be going to Cameroon in 2022, making it three out of three consecutively.

Among the players that Zimbabwe has produced include in-form Lyon striker Tinotenda ‘tino’ Kadewere who has risen from playing second tier football to france top tier and now banging goals at the highest stage as he has found the back of the net 10 times this season in the french Ligue 1.

Lyon fc striker Tino Kadewere

Tino has proven to be a good striker who is being listed among the best African players in the french League and Zimbabweans will be hoping that he replicates his form to the national team in Cameroon next year.

Marvelous Nakamba , Aston villa’s Midfielder

Marvelous Nakamba is another Zimbabwean who has broken through europe’s top league. Nakamba has made impressive appearances for English Premier league side Aston villa , turning out to be a dependable player for Zimbabwe .

Marshall Munetsi , Reims midfielder .

Another man who Zimbabweans are counting on is Reims Midfielder Marshall Munetsi who plays in the french Ligue 1. He has aswell made fantastic appearances against top french clubs.

Khama Billiat of Kaizer Chiefs

South African outfit Kaizer Chiefs’ forward Khama Billiat is one man that has come forward for the Warriors of Zimbabwe on several occasions.

Having been a consistent key member in their squad that secured qualification to afcon on three occasions, he remains a treasure for the warriors and they will count on him like always.

Other key players include captain Knowledge musona , Tendai Darikwa among others making waves in Europe and locally.

The six times record champions of the COSAFA tournament will be looking to claim the “king of the region” title by ensuring that they go past the group stages at the African cup of nations for the first time after four failed attempts.

The debate, however, remains for the fans who have taken it to social media to claim the “king” title with Zambians boasting of winning Afcon in the last decade as well as producing players who have won various individual awards while South Africans bragging about their three world cup appearances and a 1996 afcon gold medal .

Share your thoughts with us. Who do you think deserves the crown of the Southern African king?

Published by African Football Greats

pan-Africanist enthusiastic about African football and its stars around the globe.


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