Tendayi Darikwa is relishing the prospect of testing himself against the likes of Mohamed Salah, as the Nottingham Forest man heads off to the African Cup of Nations.
The Zimbabwe international says it will be an honour to represent his country this summer.
Zimbabwe’s first test is a significant one, as they take on hosts Egypt – along with Liverpool star Salah – in the first game of the tournament, on June 21.
The Reds full back is thrilled by the challenge – and says Zimbabwe’s players will be looking to make their country proud.
“Of course it will be a great occasion and a brilliant atmosphere however we are going into the competition fully focussed on what we want to do,” said Darikwa of that curtain raiser against Egypt.
“Coming up against the likes of Mohamed Salah will be a great test for us, however they have a team full of talented players so we must be prepared in all areas of the pitch.
“We have to concentrate on our ourselves and stick to our game plan, if we are able to do that then there is no reason why we can’t be successful.
“Overall we want to make the people of Zimbabwe proud, we play for them and with the tremendous support not just in the stadium but also from home we want to give everything to make them believe in us.”
Darikwa says he is proud to represent his country in a major competition.
“It’s a fantastic honour for me to be representing my country at a tournament such as the African Cup of Nations,” he said.
“It means competing against the best players in Africa which will be a tough test but I’m ready to step up to the challenge and make my country proud.”
After the game against Egypt, the Warriors play Uganda on June 26 and the Democratic Republic of Congo on June 30.
|June 21||Egypt vs Zimbabwe||10pm||Cairo|
|June 22||DR Congo vs Uganda||3:30pm||Cairo|
|June 26||Egypt vs DR Congo||9pm||Cairo|
|June 26||Uganda vs Zimbabwe||6pm||Cairo|
|June 30||Uganda vs Egypt||8pm||Cairo|
|June 30||Zimbabwe vs DR Congo||8pm||Cairo|