BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
WARRIORS midfielder Marshall Munetsi continues his phenomenal rise in Europe following his impressive debut season with Stade de Reims in the French Ligue 1 after being rewarded with a one-year contract extension.
The Zimbabwe international yesterday added another year to his initial deal, which was set to expire in 2023. He will now stay at the club until 2024.
Munetsi’s contract extension comes barely a year into the initial four-year contract signed when he joined the club from South African football giants Orlando Pirates in June last year.
The Mabvuku-born player made 21 appearances across all competitions for Reims before the French season was halted and prematurely concluded due to the global Covid-19 virus outbreak.
But perhaps what helped Munetsi win the hearts at Reims was more than just solid performances.
“On a sporting and human level, Marshall is one of the great satisfactions of the season. The recruitment cell had studied the man and the player in depth, but there is still this unknown factor linked to cultural and climatic adaptation,” Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot said on the club’s official website.
“Marshall justified the confidence placed in him; his state of mind as well as his performances were remarkable.
“This extension validates a promising first season. This signature touches me all the more since I know all the additional work that the player has done to seize his chance.
“Marshall was our first recruit in the last summer transfer window.
“At the time, it responded to the need defined by the staff to be able to count on an athletic player capable of playing in central defence as in a midfield position,” said Caillot.
Details of the new contract are still not available but chances are that it is an improved contract, which consequently catapults the player’s value in the wake of other suitors.
After finishing in eighth place in the 2018/19 season, Reims had a much improved performance this season as they occupied fifth place by the time the league was halted.
A fifth-place finish could be good enough to see the Zimbabwean star play in the UEFA Europa Cup next season.