A Warrior’s Spirit
Zimbabwean striker works hard to become one of Dalian Yifang’s marquee players
striker Nyasha Mushekwi has earned his place in the hearts of Dalian Yifang Football Club supporters. Over the last three years, he has had a brilliant international career. Even Sun Xishuang, the team’s owner, has praised the skills of the “Zimbabwean warrior,” who he described as a real fighter hungry for success.
In the current season, Dalian Yifang (founded in 2009 and formerly known as Dalian Aerbin) was finally elevated to the China Super League (CSL). The club has been significantly reinforced with the arrival of a number of international players such as Argentinean international Nicolas Gaitan and Belgian international Yannick Ferreira Carrasco.
Alongside these stars - who showed what they were capable of in some of Europe’s best clubs and even at the 2018 World Cup in Russia - Mushekwi had no choice but to limit himself to a supporting role. Powerless, he watched as his team got bogged down at the lower end of the rankings, after a series of defeats, including a scathing 8:0 humiliation on March 3 against Shanghai SIPG.
But things started to turn around with the dismissal of head coach Ma Lin, replaced by 58-year-old Bernhard Schuster from Germany. The former coach of Real Madrid engineered a return to the fundamental strategy that allowed the Blue Hawks - as the Dalian Yifang players are nicknamed to climb the rankings. Schuster’s high-pressure, compact gameplay style has proven to be effective.
Dalian Yifang’s defense, which was known for being its weak point, has been refocused around experienced players such as Jonathan Ferrari and Zhou Ting. The tactical approach to their gameplay has made it possible for players to use both long passes and fast counter-attacks, enabling Mushekwi to show the full extent of his skills.
As of October 6 this year, in 17 games played, the Zimbabwean forward scored 15 of his club’s 31 goals. He is far ahead of star player Yannick Carrasco, who scored only
Mushekwi shows his skills against Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC