Eagles focus on Zambian dangerman Kalaba

Eagles focus on Zambian dangerman Kalaba
The Zambian national side the Chipolopolo have been known to produce exciting players who made indelible marks on the African scene.

The most famous of them is unarguably Kalusha Bwalya, a fantastic left-footed midfielder cum attacker who would later go on to become the country’s Football Association chief down the line.
Zambia enticed the world with some exciting football at the 1988 Seoul Olympics which was arguably the Chipolopolo’s best showing on a global stage.
Led by Kalusha, affectionately called ‘King Kalu’, Zambia smashed Italy 4-0, drew 2-2 with Iraq and followed that up with another 4-0 spanking of Guatemala to finish top of their group.
Kalusha, alongside the likes of Wisdom Chansa, Charles Musonda and Derby Makinka shone like a million stars and put Zambia on the world map.
With the 2018 World Cup qualifiers on the horizon, Zambia’s Chipolopolo will look to mount another challenge to get back to the world stage-something they haven’t achieved since the 1988 heroics in Seoul.
One man, they will be counting on as they take on Nigeria on Sunday, October 9th will be TP Mazembe’s midfielder Rainford Kalaba. [below]
Eagles focus on Zambian dangerman Kalaba
Kalaba unarguably is the conductor of Zambia’s orchestra. The man that pulls the strings in the midfield and the creative force of a Zambia side looking to brush aside the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the first group game on Sunday.
The 30-year-old will be the man saddled with the responsibility of unlocking Nigeria’s defence and set the tone for the likes of Collin Mbesuma to thrive on.
A creative midfielder who has a keen eye for open spaces, Kalaba can thread passes that look difficult to assuage. His low centre of gravity also means he isn’t easy to bundle off the ball in the midfield. Just look at his highlight reel below.
He also added goal-scoring to his locker of skills which the Eagles need to wary off as they set about their task of sneaking away from Ndola with points.
Kalaba was born in Mufulira, a few miles away from Kitwe, a town known for producing football talent for Zambia.
Like the typical African kid, he started playing on the streets of Kitwe and ended up at AfricaSport Academy of Kitwe before heading out to Europe at the age of 19.
Young, inexperienced and battling with a new environment and culture,he didn’t settle well at French side OG Nice and he headed back to Zambia after a season to kick-start his career.
After two years at Zesco who he rejoined on his return to his native land, Kalaba was on the move to Europe again, this time to Portugal teaming up with SC Braga whom he spent two seasons with albeit both on loan at Uniao Lleria and Gil Vicente.
He later teamed up with ambitious DR Congo outfit TP Mazembe, a move which pronounced his arrival of the African stage.
Kalaba helped Mazembe win the CAF Champions League in 2015 and followed it up with winning the CAF Super Cup in 2016.
Eagles focus on Zambian dangerman Kalaba
A familiar sight not just in Zambia but in the DR Congo as well.....Kalaba retrieving a ball from the opponents net.

With 78 caps and counting, Zambia will rely heavily on Kalaba who is now the captain of the Zambian national side. His presence in the Chipolopolo midfield will definitely create problems for Nigeria as his range of passing and vision puts him up there as one of the best midfielders still plying their trade on the continent.
The Super Eagles will do well to be aware of Kalaba’s quality and leadership on the field of play. If Zambia is to be stopped, Kalaba has to be taken care of as everything positive from the Chipolopolo most, if not often, come from his boots. To make matters worse for the Super Eagles he will be wearing the captains arm-band on Sunday in Ndola and will certainly be spoiling for a fight and a good one at that.


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