Benjani Mwaruwari

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Profile

Name

Benjani Mwaruwari

Born

13 August 1978
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Caps (Goals)

44 (29)

Position

Striker

Clubs With Most Apps (Goals)

Auxerre: 88 (24)
Portsmouth: 77 (19)
Jomo Cosmos: 44 (20)
Manchester City: 23(4)

Facts

  • He was recommended by Arsene Wenger to Harry Redknapp in his move from Auxerre to Portsmouth.

After impressing in a friendly match between South Africa and Zimbabwe, Benjani signed his first major contract with the South African team Jomo Cosmos; the place where he met his mentor, Jomo Sono. In South Africa, he had a successful career that led to his PSL Player of the Season and PSL Player’s Player of the Year honors in 2001.With his profile rising, he was loaned to Grasshoppers in Switzerland for the season 2001-2002, before moving to Auxerre the following year. His 3 year stint in France had it’s ups and downs, scoring some important goals, but yet facing tough competition and the manager at times in favor of Djibril Scisse in a one forward formation. After making 88 appearances and scoring 24 goals, Benjani made a £4.1 million move to Portsmouth FC after Arsene Wenger recommended the player to Harry Redknapp. His move proved worth every penny in the 2007/2008 season, his goalscoring form included two hat-tricks; against Reading and Derby County.

On 5 February 2008, Benjani ended his time with Portsmouth with a move to Manchester City. He had a dream start for Man City, scoring on his debut against Manchester United. Not only scoring in one of the biggest derby games, but also scoring against one of the football giants in the world. His first goal at home came against his former employers, Portsmouth FC. Injury kept Benjani on the sidelines for a while, and with changes in management when he was fit again, he moved after his contract expired. He has had spells at Sunderland, Blackburn and Portsmouth.

Benjani had a successful career with the Warriors. After Peter Ndlovu retired from international football, Benjani Mwaruwari was handed the armband. Like the captain before, he led the team scoring goals, and at one point also supplying funding for the national team stay in France. He retired from international football after playing 44 games and scoring 29 times. His testimonial match was played on the 26 of May, he invited a lot of big names from the African teams. Players like El Hadji Diof, Kanu amongst the rest. The proceeds from this event went towards Benjani Mwaruwari Foundation.