I wanted to quit football: Soccer star Amini reveals

Soccer Star of the Year Qadr Amini flanked by first runner-up Donald Mudadi (left) and second runner-up Obriel Chirinda (right) Picture by Hillary Maradzike

SOCCER Star of the Year Qadr Amini revealed that he wanted to quit football about two years ago after he was diagnosed with some heart complication at the CHAN finals.

Amini was crowned Soccer Star of the Year at a glittering awards ceremony in Harare on Friday night and caused a stir after he walked to the stage flanked by his two wives.

During his moment of glory the Ngezi Platinum Stars captain was happy he did not give up on his career after he failed the Cardiac MRI test and was bizarrely substituted after just three minutes in the last match of the group stages against Mali.

“That time it was a great setback to me. It was so painful I wanted to quit football from that moment because they said I had a heart problem but in my entire life I had never had any problem with my heart. "But the medical team said I had a heart problem. As a footballer to be substituted after three minutes it’s so painful but I rose up. I said to myself I don’t have to give up, I have to push, so I think I have worked hard for this moment,” the 33-year-old versatile winger said.

And after winning the local championship with Ngezi Platinum Stars, Amini, who was already doing his coaching badges in preparation of life after football has been enticed by the Caf Champions League football next season to continue playing.

“I was thinking of retiring, but I have doubts now. I need to play in the Champions league. It's a great exposure so I think if I play one or two seasons then I will retire,” he said.

After a great season in which he scored seven goals and was influential in the club’s successful run to a maiden league title, Amini was happy with the Soccer Star of the Year award.

“I feel so great to be named the soccer star of the season. I think I have worked so hard for this. I have been scoring and assisting the team. As a senior player I led by example to these youngsters. If you look at our team there are a lot of youngsters and I gave them the drive and it is this work that we did that helped me to be here,” Amini said.

Amini thanked his two wives for his success much to the delight of other guests at the Soccer Stars awards.

“Obviously I would like to thank my wives. I love you guys so much because you have been so supportive when I am home that I am OK so thank you very much,” he said.

Amini takes over the coveted prize from FC Platinum’s Walter Musona who won it last year after beating competition from Dynamos midfield magician Donald Mudadi, who guided his team to a third-place finish in the league, and the Chibuku Super Cup final, for the award.

The midfielder scored five league goals for the Harare giants and was voted the first runner up for the Soccer Star accolade while second runners-up award went to Bulawayo Chiefs striker Obriel Chirinda, who is the league’s joint second top scorer.

Herentals’ Tino Benza made history when he retained the fans' choice player of the year award, which is voted for by the fans via an online platform.

Ariel Sibanda of Highlanders scooped the Goalkeeper of the Year award for keeping 19 clean sheets for his club with Dynamos’ 18-year-old sensation Elton Chikona picked for the Rookie of the Year award after enjoying a successful debut season with the Harare giants, netting five goals.

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