Harare – As Europe’s top football leagues enter the twilight of the 2020-21 season, signs are pointing to exciting times ahead for players from Southern Africa in the mix for honours at the end of their respective campaigns.
Already, four players from the region are guaranteed participation in the prestigious UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions.
Leading the cast is red-hot Zambian forward Patson Daka, who wears the colours of Austrian top flight side Red Bull Salzburg. His club has secured automatic qualification in the Champions League – though the possibility is real that he could be in that tourney for another club as he has drawn the interest of several teams across Europe.
The on-fire Zambian forward has scored 31 goals in 39 matches across all competitions for Red Bull Salzburg this season, helping the club sit pretty atop the Bundesliga with just three matches to go.
Daka made his debut in European club competition this very season, and he turned out eight times for Red Bull Salzburg in both the Champions League and Europa League. He had a decent return of two goals and three assists in his European adventures.
Also to set to light up Europe’s club competitions is Daka’s countryman Fashion Sakala, who recently signed for Scotland Premier League 2020-21 Champions Rangers FC.
The 24-year old Zambian international agreed to a four-year deal with Rangers, and he will join the club at the start of the next season as the club prepares to take on Europe’s elite in the 2021-22 Champions League.
Mozambique star defender Reinildo Mandava and Zimbabwe international forward Tino Kadewere, who represent Lille OSC and Olympique Lyon respectively in France’s Ligue 1, will also be in the European mix.
Lille OSC are in the running for the top flight crown in France on 79 points, three clear of second placed Paris Saint German with only two matches remaining before the end of the season. If Lille finish first or second, they are guaranteed a place in the group stages of the Champions League.
Kadewere’s Lyon sit fourth on the log, which guarantees Europa League group stage participation.