HARARE: PROPHETIC Healing and Deliverance Ministry founder Prophet Walter Magaya might not have previously played for the Warriors but he lived his dream yesterday as he literally brought the house down after receiving vociferous applause when he featured in a Zimbabwe against Barcelona Legends exhibition tie at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
The soccer-mad prophet was introduced as a second half substitute late on but even the visiting former Barcelona stars could not resist but marvel at his iconic status as very touch he made was greeted with huge cheers from the terraces.
Magaya, who has been ZIFA’s all-weather friend with his benevolence benefiting the association especially with the national teams, was invited to play as a guest of the association in the match which featured former Warriors stars and the Barcelona counterparts.
The prophet had earlier been appointed liaison officer of the team when the squad was being assembled before being invited to be part of the team.
On his part Magaya offered the two teams in the exhibition match, accommodation facilities and transport to the match venue.
The prophet might not have turned up for the national team but he used to feature for his Yadah Stars when they were still a Division One side.
Yesterday he not only lined up together with some of the players he idolised while growing up but also brought the house down, initially capturing attention when the Warriors legends were warming up before the decibels hit the roof, the moment he was about to be introduced late on in the second half.
A host of Magaya’s PHD congregants skipped the church’s afternoon service to join thousands of Zimbabweans drawn from different sectors and races who thronged the National Sports Stadium to watch yesterday’s match.
Although ZIFA’s critics, some of whom appear more obsessed with negativity, might have been quick to out that Magaya should not have been included in the squad, it is a trend the world over that gust players can be invited for exhibition matches.
More importantly it is ZIFA who are entrusted with running the Warriors brand and that they decided to repay one of their major benefactors with an invitation to feature in an exhibition was as good a decision as they come as the prophet also lured with him hordes of his followers to the stadium.
The 34-year-old prophet, who was introduced as a 75th minute substitute for Johannes Ngodzo and the crowd erupting into a frenzy when the public address system announcer confirmed that he was coming on for the former Highlanders man.
Magaya did not disappoint either, making some deft touches and fine passes in a game that also featured former greats like Edgar Davids, Ludovic Giuly, Francesco Coco, Gianluca Zambrotta, Frederick Degu and Giovanni Silva.