By ZBC Reporter
WARRIORS Captain, Knowledge Musona’s failed stint in Germany remains a topical issue as some believe it was the turning point in a European career that was so promising but ended up being a nightmare.
While no one will ever doubt the qualities and abilities of Warriors Captain, Knowledge Musona, his unfulfilling stint in Germany at Hoffenheim seems to have been the turning point for what has been largely a disappointing stay in Europe, at least by the expected standards.
However, many have fought in the tear-away Zimbabwe striker’s corner saying he was a victim of the Bundesliga’s track record of failing to develop non-European players.
There was so much promise and potential to do well in Europe after Musona who never played top flight football in Zimbabwe, announced his arrival in the South African football scene with the PSL Rookie of the Year award in 2010 before lifting the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot in the 2010-11 season after scoring 15 times.
His exploits attracted interest from European clubs such as German Bundesliga side 1899 Hoffenheim, Serbian giants Partizan Belgrade and Scottish heavyweights Celtic.
Affectionately known as the Smiling Assassin, Musona was to settle for Hoffenheim in July 2011, with the player signing a five-year contract for 19.5 million Rand.
However, his stay only saw him making 17 appearances and scoring just a single goal which left more questions than answers.
In an interview during the Bundesliga Connection show, DW Sports Correspondent Kres Harrington seemed to answer part of this burning question saying, Musona was a victim of the Bundesliga environment that has not been very friendly to non-European players.
“It didn’t really work out for him. Why is that? I think the narrative speaks truth that he was punching above his weight. That is what his former coach in Zimbabwe had to say about that experience. The reality is that the Bundesliga doesn’t have the best history in terms of developing talent that is not European. Sometimes homesickness and culture shock issues are part of the reason too. You have to put that in play,” he said.
Musona went on to play for another German side Augsburg on loan before another loan move to his old club, Kaizer Chiefs, where he found the back of the net eight times.
He eventually returned to Europe but this time in the less demanding, Belgian top flight, turning out for Oostende, Anderlecht, Lokoren and his current club KAS Eupen.
However, what remains disappointing is that he had the potential to play in a more competitive league and probably follow in the footsteps of his countryman such as Peter Ndlovu and Benjani Mwaruwari who played in the English Premiership.