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Africa Cup of Nations 2017

Zimbabwe Captain Willard Katsande Ends International Career

Zimbabwe international skipper, Willard Katsande, has retired from international football following the Warriors early exit from the 2017 African Cup of Nations.

The Kaizer Chiefs midfielder who played a vital role in Zimbabwe’s qualification campaign explained the decision saying it was time to step aside and allow the younger generation to take over, so he can concentrate on his club career.

Speaking to Super Sport, Katsande confirmed the decision saying,

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I have decided to call time on my national team career after bowing out from AFCON. It comes a time where you have to make the hard decisions as you know I am 31 and it’s just the right time to now fully concentrate on my club career at Kaizer Chiefs.[/perfectpullquote]

“We played well but we have not been consistent and conceding goals despite working hard but, we take back lessons home and hopefully things will be different next time.

“I have given many years to my nation and I want to see younger players follow in my footsteps and hopefully become even better. I have had a great time in the national team and I am definitely grateful for it.”

Katsande came into the limelight in the 2009-10 CAF Champions League campaign after helping his then side, the Gunners in the second round match at the Ruffalo Stadium in Zimbabwe.

He attracted the attention of many South African Premier League sides after helping his home side finish first in the League. He signed for Ajax Cape Town later that year before joining a top side, Kaizer Chiefs, in 2011 where he became a fan favorite.

Via the Kaizer Chiefs official website, Katsande expressed his disappointment in his AFCON performance but was grateful for the chance to participate in the games.

“The feeling is obviously not good because we didn’t reach our goal. We are disappointed, but life goes on.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Taking part in AFCON means a lot to any footballer. We enjoyed every single minute of our three matches. The atmosphere in the stadium was out of this world. We will be back in 2019.[/perfectpullquote]

“I am happy with my individual performance. I hope to have left a mark in this tournament. I managed to be consistent, which was my priority,” he added.

Katsande retires with 19 caps under his belt and three crucial goals for the warriors.

The Warriors captain will remain on the minds of many Zimbabweans as a dedicated hard worker with a strong tackle who gave his all, whenever his nation called for his services.



Featured photo: Willard Katsande calls time-up on his international career. (BackpagePix)

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