The 32-year-old threw in the towel on international football when he captained the Warriors in a goalless draw against Cape Verde in a 2012 Nations Cup qualifying match at the National Sports Stadium in October last year.
Mwaruwari’s career has been an enigma spiced with the big money transfers at the last minute. When he moved to Manchester City from Portsmouth, it was revealed that Benjani had missed two successive planes to Manchester (supposedly after falling asleep at the airport). This meant that Benjani did not arrive at the club’s training ground until 11.10pm, leaving insufficient time to complete a move before the midnight deadline.
Portsmouth had already confirmed the signing of Mwaruwari’s replacement, Jermain Defoe, for a fee in the region of US$14,6m from Tottenham Hotspur, with the impending sale of Mwaruwari supposedly funding the majority of the transfer.
A transfer was completed for Mwaruwari to move to Manchester City on February 5 2008 for a fee of US$6,28m on a two-and-a-half year deal.
It was when everyone thought that his career in the English premiership was over as he was not offered a deal by Sunderland last year. He vowed that his last playing days would be in England and Mwaruwari later inked another one-year deal with Blackburn Rovers.
I am soldiering on despite injuries: Mwaruwari
In an exclusive interview with Standardsport this week, former Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari said his career has been blighted with injuries but he had managed to conquer in a journey that has seen him play in the top leagues in Switzerland, France and England.
But does he believe that his retirement from the Warriors was in the heat of the moment?
“No it was not. I have made up my mind and no one will persuade me to come back and play for the Warriors,” Mwaruwari said.
“I am sticking to my decision. There are lots of youngsters coming up and we should give them a chance to play,” he said.
The former Manchester City striker had been Warriors captain since 2006, a period in which the team fared poorly in qualifiers for both the Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup.
Injury ruled Mwaruwari out of Zimbabwe’s maiden appearance at the Nations Cup finals in 2004, but he scored for the Warriors in a 2-1 defeat of Ghana at the 2006 edition.
He replaced Peter Ndlovu as captain after the 2006 tournament.
Mwaruwari admits that his time with the Warriors was not one of the best in his career.
“I feel sorry for the fans. I wanted to make an impact for the Warriors but I could not. I was not at my best,” Mwaruwari said.
Mwaruwari scored 29 goals in 44 appearances for Zimbabwe.
Mwaruwari however believes he still has the energy to play in the English premiership before calling it quits. He added that his wish, though, was to help the Warriors.
“I would like to come in as an ambassador for the Warriors. I do not want to be on the bench but to boost the morale of the young players. Ndinoda kubatsira (I want to help),” Mwaruwari said.
Mwaruwari, who has vast business interests in Zimbabwe and South Africa, said he also wishes to groom young players by establishing a juniors’ academy.
“I do not see the reason why we should not have more players (Zimbabwean) in Europe but we need to set up structures for youth development. I am proud to be Zimbabwean and I want to give back to my country,” Mwaruwari said.