Bosso legend inspiration behind Nakamba's favourite jersey number

Nakamba donned the number 18 shirt in Zimbabwe's 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Rwanda and Nigeria on November 15 and 19 respectively.

WARRIORS captain Marvelous Nakamba has revealed that former Highlanders midfield genius Johannes Ngodzo was the inspiration behind his favoured jersey number 18.

Nakamba donned the number 18 shirt in Zimbabwe's 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Rwanda and Nigeria on November 15 and 19 respectively.

The Warriors played a goalless draw against Rwanda before another one-all stalemate with the Super Eagles.

Interestingly, the 29-year-old defensive midfielder wears a number 13 shirt at his English Premier League side Luton Town while he wore numbers 11 and 19 at his previous club Aston Villa.

It was at Club Brugge that he was able to don his favourite jersey number after starting with a number 30 shirt when he initially joined.

Nakamba revealed his favourite number and the inspiration behind it in a Luton Town FC media programme where he was answering the fans' questions, flighted on their social media platforms last week.

The question was why he chose the number 13 at Luton.

"I think 13 was the favourite number of the kit man. When I came in on my first day he recommend 13 to me. My favourite is 18 because of one player from Zimbabwe Johannes Ngodzo. He made me fall in love with that number," Nakamba said.

Ngodzo, popularly known as Signature because of his silky skills on the ball in his heyday is one of the finest midfielders to play for Bulawayo giants Highlanders in the 2000s.

Unfortunately, he did not reach his full potential after injury forced him into early retirement.

Nakamba also spoke about his football journey, which has seen him play in one of the biggest leagues in the world.

"It was a dream to be a professional football player. It's something I had to work hard  on to achieve and with the support from parents, coaches who coached in the youth levels in Zimbabwe and the community where I grew up I made it, I give credit to them.

"My friends also were very supportive because sometimes they would do homework for me when I was in training. It's a dream considering where I come from to be where I am now.

"Since I was young I would sleep with the ball. I think it was because of my parents because they also liked football, so football became everything to me," he said.

Nakamba became the Warriors' first captain after the lifting of the Fifa suspension and is hoping to guide Zimbabwe to a maiden World Cup qualification.

"I think we have a chance to make it as a team. We just have to push each other more and demand from each other more and it will happen," he said following the 1 - 1 draw against one of the Group C favourites Nigeria, last Sunday.

The group also comprises South Africa, Rwanda, Benin and Lesotho with only one team gaining automatic qualification to the World Cup.

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