Former Zimbabwe international Kelvin Mushangazhike has lived to rue the day Kaizer Chiefs barred him from attending trials at French giants Paris Saint Germain PSG in 2003.
Mushangazhike was so exceptional that, at some point, he was labelled as Peter Ndlovu’s heir for Zimbabwe.
Possessing everything that completes a perfect forward, the Harare-born former footballer took Zimbabwe by storm during his days at Dynamos.
This was before he crossed the Limpopo River to join Kaizer Chiefs in 2002.
He arrived amid so much expectation, considering the hype he had received prior to the move.
And he did not disappoint, forming a lethal combination with the late John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu.
Together they terrorised opponents in the elite league, particularly during the 2002/03 campaign.
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But his darkest hour came when the Kaizer Chiefs leadership stood in his way when he was presented with an opportunity to exhibit himself at PSG.
A good 19 years have gone by since missing the opportunity. And now, aged 42, Mushangazhike still feels the anguish of being denied what he thought would have been good fortune.
KELVIN MUSHANGAZHIKE TO PSG
“They refused for me to go. They barred me from going to the medicals. I was angry and frustrated that I even confronted the club leadership.
“I tried everything to show them that I really needed to try my luck. But my cries fell on deaf ears. They totally refused,” Mushangazhike told FARPost.
“Everything didn’t work, and I kind of fell out of favour at the same time. I was missing call-ups to the national team [Zimbabwe]. That was very painful, considering how hard I had worked to rise from nothing.
“I remember Ronaldinho was moving to Barcelona from PSG during that time. I felt it was something I needed to try and possibly get a chance to play in France. We all know it’s every player’s dream to play at that level.”
Consequently, he was loaned out to Black Leopards, where he was a top performer during that season. They qualified for the South African Airways [SAA] Super eight.
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Mushangazhike reveals how he attracted the interest of the French giants. “The PSG president during that time, Laurent Perpère, had watched me live in Ellis Park on 12 January 2003. It was a match against Mamelodi Sundowns.
“I was so good that day and even got standing ovations. But the key moment in that game was receiving a brilliant low pass from the late legend John Shoes Moshoeu. I took it with ease.”