Vice-captain Sergio Cidoncha is the only player retained by Kerala Blasters head coach Kibu Vicuna for the upcoming season of the ISL. With Brazilian Jairo Rodrigues leaving the club and his replacement Gianni Zuiverloon moving back to the Netherlands, the Blasters management had to look for defensive options.
They zeroed in on Costa Nhamoinesu. Despite being 34 and towards the twilight of his career, the former Zimbabwe international was among the top choices for both Karolis Skinkys and Kibu Vicuna alike. In addition to this, Costa is also one of the favorites to lead the side for the upcoming season with Gary Hooper being another choice.
As a defender who has played in Europe, Costa Nhamoinesu is as solid as they come. For the upcoming season, he will be joined by the likes of Sandeep Singh, Bakary Kone, Nishu Kumar, and Vicente Gomez in defense.
Another key attribute the Zimbabwean brings to the table is the fact that he is left-footed. With Sandesh Jhingan having left the club to join ATK Mohun Bagan, Costa will be an extremely important asset for Vicuna in the upcoming season.
Here are a few things Kerala Blasters fans should know about Costa Nhamoinesu.
All you need to know about Costa Nhamoinesu
#1 A legend in the Czech top-flight
Costa was initially spotted by a scout while playing football in Harare. He was offered a trial with the Polish side Zagłębie Lubin. After an initial loan deal, the club signed him on a permanent contract. Costa would soon establish himself as one of the top left-backs in the Polish league.
In 2013, Costa Nhamoinesu was signed by the Czech Republic side Sparta Prague. It was in the Czech first league that he would have some of the best years of his footballing career. He would go on to make over 200 appearances in a span of 7 years and scored 16 goals in the process.
#2 Played in UEFA competitions
While he was contracted with Sparta Prague, Costa Nhamoinesu played in UEFA competitions every season barring the 2017-18 season. In the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons, Costa played in both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.
In the seven years he spent with Prague, Costa Nhamoinesu managed a total of 41 appearances in both UEFA competitions and found his name on the scoresheet on five occasions.
#3 Possible captain for Kerala Blasters
Kerala Blasters FC are among the many teams yet to name a captain for the upcoming season with Kibu Vicuna keeping his options open. From the outset, it seems as though Gary Hooper or Costa Nhamoinesu may be handed the captain's armband for the season.
The Zimbabwean is a strong contender to lead the Blasters this season. He was the first African player to captain Sparta Prague in the history of the club.
#4 First Zimbabwean to play for Kerala Blasters and the ISL
Among the 65 African players to have ever played in the Indian Super League, Costa Nhamoinesu is the only Zimbabwean player on the list. So far, there have been players from 23 African countries to sign for the ISL since the inception of the league in 2014.Published 16 Nov 2020, 20:37 IST