By Sports Writer
Over the years, Zambia has produced mammoth talents despite the tragic plane crash that wiped a whole team in 1993. The national team may not have reached the heights of other African giants such as Egypt, Cameroon, or Ghana. Zambia produces among the elite players in Africa.
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Chipolopolo is the nickname of the national team famed for its all-green uniform. Among the five most prominent players to rock the jersey are;
- Godfrey Chitalu
Without any dispute, he is the greatest player in Zambia ever to wear the Zambian jersey. He also scored most goals one single year, a record that has not yet been broken by anybody to date.
He scored 116 goals in 1972, beating famous names such as Lionel Messi and Gerd Muller even if FIFA termed the record unofficial. He won the Zambian player of the year for a whopping five years. He took charge of the national team before perishing in the famous plane crash in 1993.
- Alex Chola
After Chitalu, he holds the record of the second-best scorer. Interestingly, he also became a coach. While younger, he played for Solbena F.C and later went on to play for Division 2 side Mufulira Blackpool in 1974. In 1976, he was named Zambian footballer of the year.
After retiring, he started coaching Power Dynamos and was named coach of the year in 1992 and later died in the 1993 plane crash.
- Kalusha Bwalya
Famously, he got known as King Kalu in the entire African continent. He is considered one of the most capped players in Zambia and the third-highest scorer. He won the African Footballer of the Year in 1998, dominating other good players all over Africa. In the end, he retired to become a coach and later became the Zambian’s Football Association President. You can find the Zambian Football league on betting platforms.
- Dick Chama
He was born in 1946. In the national team, he played as a defender and got recognized as one of the best in Africa and the world. Together with Makwanza, they marshaled the Zambian defense making it hard for attackers to penetrate.
After retiring, he also joined the coaching career and even tried his luck on the national team. He died in 2006, aged 60. He still holds the title of the best players Zambia has ever produced.
- Christopher Katongo
He is the only active player on the list. Currently, he is playing for Green Buffaloes in the Zambian league and is considered one of the national team’s most important players. In 2012, he got awarded the BBC African Player of the Year after scoring crucial national team goals.
The same year, he was fundamental when he helped Chipolopolo upset bookies, when they won the AFCON. He made the final list of the tournament’s best players.
Zambia has been producing lots of talents who end up becoming legends. Nowadays, they have players playing in different teams across the globe. The big five mentioned above are celebrated in Zambia, Africa, and all over the world. Football academies in Zambia are full of young talents named on this list in the future.