Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman to visit Zimbabwe next month

Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman to visit Zimbabwe next month
Published: 03 October 2017 (768 Views)
The Sport and Recreation ministry yesterday claimed that Manchester City and Everton coaches Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman will come to Zimbabwe next month, as part of the Barcelona legends team, who will play the Warriors in an international exhibition match.

No dates have been fixed for the match, with the Sport minister Makhosini Hlongwane yesterday saying it will be played on the next Fifa dates for international matches.

The next Fifa dates fall on the weekend of November 6 to 14.

Speaking at a Press conference held to announce the arrival of former Brazil and Barcelona star, Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira, commonly known just as Rivaldo, into the country yesterday, Hlongwane said Guardiola and Koeman are some of the high-profile former Barcelona stars who are coming to Zimbabwe.

The Manchester City boss Guardiola, is one of the most successful managers in the world and is considered by a number of players, managers and commentators to be one of the best managers in the world.

Rivaldo, was expected to arrive in Harare last night, to hype and promote the match.

His former teammates at the Catalan giants Patrick Kluivert and Edgar Davids were in the country in August on a similar mission.
Besides Koeman and Guardiola, some of the stars, according to Hlongwane, that are expected to come for the friendly match include two-time Fifa World Player of the Year, Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto, Carles Puyol and Frank de Boer.

"The Ministry of Sport and Recreation invited Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira in the country who is coming in as part of the promotion of a match to be played between the Warriors and Barcelona legends. The purpose of the visit is to pay a courtesy call to the government of Zimbabwe in preparation for the proposed match.

The match is in line with the ministry policy guidelines on the promotion of sport diplomacy and sport tourism for the benefit of the nation," Hlongwane said in a statement read on his behalf by secretary in the ministry, Benson Dube.

"So, Zimbabwe let us brace ourselves for an exciting football extravaganza that will feature the likes of Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Ronald Koeman, Frank de Boer, Carles Puyol, current Man City coach, Patrick Kluivert, Samuel Eto, just to mention a few," he said.

While government claims that Guardiola and Koeman are coming to Zimbabwe during the international break, it is looks highly unlikely that the two will make time for the trip as their clubs have a busy schedule in the English Premier League and the Uefa Champions League during that month.

The two have four matches in a space of 10 days after the Fifa break.

City has a big game against Arsenal on November 5 in the league, the last weekend before the international break, and have two massive games after the Fifa "disruption" as they travel to Leicester on November 18 before hosting Feyenoord in the Champions League three days later.

Rayco Garcia, a football agent and an ex-Barcelona trainee, who is part of the organising team, is already in the country doing all the necessary arrangements ahead of the match.

- newsday

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