Munetsi's mentality behind Premier League switch

Premiership

Zimbabwe international Marshall Nyasha Munetsi has been celebrated as a true reflection of the power of mental strength in football as his move to the English Premier League gains momentum.

Munetsi moved across the border to join FC Cape Town in the first division as a teenager having never played in the top league back home but has since been with Baroka and Orlando Pirates before landing at Stade Reims in the French top league.

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He is now being touted for an R137 million move to EPL club Brighton and Hove Albion where he could replace Malian midfielder Yves Bissouma who has joined Tottenham Hotspur.

"The mental factor is everything in football," says Johnny Ferreira, who coached Munetsi at FC Cape Town.

"There was once a guy like OJ (Mbulelo Mabizela) who was a brilliant and far much better football player and probably up there with the best that I have ever seen but never had the mental strength to follow through his talent at a higher level.

"You can have all the talent in the world but if the mental strength is not there then you will not survive at the top. Another factor is that in football talent is not about standing on the ball and doing tricks but being able to function to the progress of the team.

"You can see that Marshall is wired for resilience and is focused on his trade. That is why he keeps moving up. 

"From what I remember working with him he was a kid who lived a clean life, and I don’t think he has changed which is why he is already in the top leagues and set for the best league in the world.

"This is a Marshall who has been competing against the best in (Lionel) Messi, (Kylian) Mbappe and Neymar and hasn’t disappointed.

"To then recognition from the English Premier League, which is the best in the world, means we should be celebrating this boy’s mental strength and learning from him. 

"With the way, the boy was totally dedicated to football it was only a matter of time before the boy got a break to a higher level.

"He was always brave even though I thought at times his final pass let him down but that was the time when he was at FC Cape Town some six or so years ago," says Ferreira.

In three years in the PSL, Munetsi played 69 games and through the same period in French Ligue One has 75 appearances.

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