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Top Three Zimbabwean players in English Premier League history

The English Premier League is arguably the most exciting League in the world.

 

Every weekend, Zimbabweans are stuck in front of their TV sets, watching the biggest stars on the globe strut their stuff in the EPL.

 

One of the main attractions of the Premier League is the cosmopolitan nature of the league.

 

They have players from all over the world, from Japan to Venezuela; Australia to 

Germany.

 

Zimbabwe has not been left out.

 

Only a handful of Zimbabwean footballers have featured in the English Premier League, but they have left their own marks on the competition.

 

We look at the top three Zimbabwean players in the history of the EPL.

 

3. Benjani Mwaruwari 

 

Benjani turned out for four English Premier League clubs- Portsmouth, Manchester City, Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers- scoring 26 goals and 8 assists in 118 appearances.

 

While his goal ratio may not scream out of the page, do not forget that he represented clubs that weren’t exactly in the top order of the league. At his prime, he was a handful for Premier League defenders.

 

Benjani scored in some of the most famous grounds in the EPL, bagging goals at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and Anfield, and also managed to win the FA Cup with unfashionable Portsmouth in 2008- his only piece of silverware in England.

 

If Mwaruwari was still playing today, bookmakers across Africa, from Nigerian sites to Kenyan betting companies, would have always had the Zimbabwean at decent odds to find the back of the net in big matches.

 

Before making the switch to the Premier League, Mwaruwaru had earned his stripes in France, representing Auxerre in Ligue 1. It was with the French outfit that he became the first Zimbabwean player to score in the UEFA Champions League.

 

He subsequently went to the Premier League and made his name as one of the top stars on the continent.

 

2. Peter Ndlovu

 

Zimbabwe may not be anywhere near the top order of African Football, but the country holds a significant record that she will forever be proud of.

 

The first African player to play in the English Premier League is Zimbabwe’s Peter Ndlovu.

 

Ndlovu joined Coventry City in the old First Division as an 18-year-old in 1991, the year before the Premier League began.

 

He would go on to score 34 goals in 154 EPL appearances, including a memorable hat-trick at Liverpool in March 1995.

 

Zimbabwe’s all-time leading scorer also turned out for second tier clubs, Birmingham City, Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town, and remains one of the finest footballing exports from our country.

 

1. Bruce Grobbelaar

 

The eccentric Bruce Grobbelaar spent 13 years at Liverpool, but most of his prime years at the Anfield Club were during the old First Division. 

 

Still, his records are outstanding and he is one of the greatest keepers in English League history.

 

Amongst his successes with Liverpool include six league titles, three FA Cups and a European Cup title in 1984.

 

When the English top flight was rechristened to the Premier League in 1992, Grobbelaar was in the final years of his Liverpool career.

 

He left the Anfield Club in 1994, and subsequently played for Southampton and Sheffield United before departing the league. Grobbelaar made 66 EPL appearances in total, keeping 13 clean sheets.

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