Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
WARRIORS captain Knowledge Musona said he had joined a big and good club with an impressive history of winning titles in Belgium and in UEFA competitions after sealing a four-year deal to play for the country’s most successful team in Europe’s inter-club tournaments.
The Warriors talisman, who turns 28 next month, completed his move from KV Oostende to Belgian giants Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht on a four-year deal, and a further dance with the UEFA Europa League.
He was one of three new players unveiled by Anderlecht, as the club is popularly known, yesterday with the deal ending weeks of speculation about his future.
Musona had spent the last four years at KV Oostende, where he made 110 appearances and scored 39 goals, including a cheeky back heel in his final game for the club at the weekend in the 3-1 win over K.A.S Eupen in a fitting farewell to his fans.
He left a club that had a stadium with a capacity of about 6 500 to join one that plays in a ground that has a capacity of 21 500 and will be moving into the 60 000-capacity Eurostadium next year, which they will share with the Belgian national team.
“For me, the most important thing was to get a good club with a good history and a club that is winning titles and I’m happy I’m here and Anderlecht is a big club in Belgium and I was fortunate that I had to meet the president again, for the second time, Luc Devore,’’ Musona said in his first interview with Anderlecht TV.
“I’m happy, we have to deliver, we have to make sure we play to a high level, to keep the standards high. We cannot afford to be going up and down.
“We have to be consistent and in a big team like this, this is what you are expected (to do) every week and every day.
“I think there will be more fans from Zimbabwe who will start to support Anderlecht because they really love me in Zimbabwe and also in South Africa and so, yeah, it’s something very special to me and I’m looking forward to it.
“The nickname Smiling Assassin came from South Africa, that’s how I got it, always when I used to play I used to smile and whenever the referee said something or blow the whistle against me, I used to just smile and play with enjoyment and people really liked it and one guy from the Kaizer Chiefs media team gave me the nickname because every time I was laughing and playing (even) outside the field and that’s where the nickname came from.’’
In signing Musona, Anderlecht beat Jupiler rivals Standard Liege, who had in the last few months been angling for the former Kaizer Chiefs striker’s signature. Anderlecht confirmed the capture of Musona and that of defender Antonio Malic, who also arrives from KV Oostende and Serbian Luka Adzic, with the club describing the Warriors’ talismanic forward as “technically gifted player”.
“Three newcomers join Purple-White. Antonio Milic and Knowledge Musona come over from KV Oostende and the Serbian talent Luka Adzic chose RSCA despite domestic and international interest.
“Antonio Milic, a left-footed defender, is no stranger to the Belgian league. He played a total of 114 matches (9 goals) since January 2015 (at) KV Oostende.
“Milic will strengthen the heart of the defence. De Kroaat and his Zimbabwean teammate Knowledge Musona make the transition from KVO to RSCA.
“The technically skilled flank attacker in Ostend accounted for 41 goals and 18 assists in 112 duels,’’ the club said.
Anderlecht, who finished third behind perennial rivals Club Brugge and Standard Liege, have now set about strengthening their squad as they gun for more honours next season.
Newly crowned Belgian champions Club Brugge have Zimbabwean star midfielder Marvelous Nakamba on their books.
Anderlecht are based in Anderlecht, Brussels Capital region and are the most successful Belgian football team in European competitions, with five trophies in the Belgian domestic league and 34 championship titles.
After sealing his move to Anderlecht, Musona is now expected to head home and lead as he has often done from the front, when his Warriors head to Limpopo Province for the 2018 edition of the COSAFA Cup, which will burst into life in Polokwane on Sunday and will run until June 9.
Musona’s move to a bigger club, was gladly welcomed by his national team coach Sunday Chidzambwa.
“I think it is a good move for the player and for the country,’’ Chidzambwa said.
“It’s always nice when we have players playing at a higher level and we need more of such players in the top leagues. I think Knowledge’s move should also open doors for youngsters to try and emulate him.
“It is also important for us as Zimbabwe that we emulate African giants like Nigeria and Cameroon who have many of their stars playing in the world’s top leagues and who regularly compete in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.’’
The former Dynamos coach was also happy with Nakamba’s stunning progress at Club Brugge.
Chidzambwa also revealed that he had drafted Ngezi Platinum forward Terrence Dzvukamanja into his COSAFA squad following Nakamba’s withdrawal through injury.
“Nakamba is injured, so we have added Terrence and we hope that he can add the firepower to the attack that we have,’’ said Chidzambwa.
His goals include a brace he struck last Saturday at Baobab in Ngezi Platinum’s 4-0 demolition of Bulawayo City.