By Busisani Ncube
A budding soccer star with Zimbabwean links, Joshua Nyakudya, who is in the books of English Premiership side Wolves, has set his sight on representing England.
The ambitious 13-year-old winger insists his international dream is to represent the Three Lions despite interests from Zimbabwe, the homeland of his parents.
The Birmingham-born starlet, who dreams of lifting the Ballon d’Or one day, does not hide his affinity for Zimbabwe, but feels donning the Three Lions jersey would present him more opportunities.
“My roots are in Zimbabwe because that’s where my parents come from, but honestly playing for the Three Lions would present more opportunities for me.
“My chances of playing at a World Cup are more realistic with England, I also could play at the Euros and the Nations Cup where I can be spotted by top clubs,” says the poised Nyakudya, who dreams of playing for Real Madrid.
The youngster, who seemingly models his game around his hero, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, is known for terrorising opposition defenders with his skills, raw pace and tireless work-rate.
Apart from playing international football for England, the teenager wants to play for one of the top six sides in England especially Manchester United or Manchester City.
“I would like to be one of the best players in the EPL and to win big trophies like the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or.”
Nyakudya says the exposure he has gotten from traveling throughout Europe for tournaments with the Wolves academy has been immense. Locally, they play against opposite sides from the other Premiership clubs on weekends.
He singles out Aston Villa’s Zimbabwean midfielder Marvelous Nakamba as his favourite Warriors player.
“It’s quite inspiring to see a Zimbabwean play at the top level in England, week-in, week-out. It says to me ‘it’s all possible’,” says Nyakudya.
The soft-spoken teenager is the son of television presenter and award-winning gospel musician Carole Nyakudya – an entrepreneur and philanthropist based in England’s second-largest city.
With her husband Nathan, the two are towers of strength in the development stages of their excitingly talented son.
“It’s just a joy to see him express his God-given talent. We will always give him the necessary support as he pursues his dreams,” she says.