WHILE Cristiano Ronaldo was on target to help Portugal overcome Lithuania 5-1 with a four-goal haul during a Euro 2020 qualifier, Khama Billiat was also lighting up the scene as his late stunner at National Sports secured Zimbabwe passage to the next round of the 2022 World Cup qualifying matches.
Given how they have been the leading lights for their respective teams – both the club and national team – comparisons have naturally been drawn between the two stars. Apparently, they have a lot in common and share several similarities; least of all the way they strut their stuff on the park. While playing with loads of panache on the pitch, they also live a life of flamboyance off it as they at times flaunt their wealth; what with the mega bucks they earn from their lucrative contracts.
When on song, as they usually are, Ronaldo and Billiat turn out to be the go-to persons whenever their teams needed game-changing moments and match-winning brilliance. This comes naturally for them as the duo is outrageously talented.
Also unsurprising is that the Zimbabwe talisman takes after the Portugal superstar in many aspects, which has seen the former aping the latter’s popular and trademark goal celebrations. The rite, which comes after scoring a goal, involves a sprint to the byline where he leaps up, coils airborne and firmly plants the feet on the turf to land with a thud and arms stretched out wide (like he is breaking some invisible shackles and announcing that here I am) while hissing “siii”! The screamed incantation simply means “yesss” in Spanish.
The unmistakable swivel move has become a souvenir associated with CR7’s deified goal celebrations and it has undoubtedly inspired a generation of players around the globe who seek to emulate the iconic Portuguese forward. Even our own Khama counts among those – as we witnessed at National Sports last Tuesday when he took his shirt off and wheeled away in boundless joy.
The Warriors kingpin needs to outgrow that habit, however.
Billiat has been exceptionally brilliant since turning professional and should by now be looking at establishing his own brand as a footballer and increasing its visibility. That starts with him conjuring a personal goal celebration that he can be identified with and only peculiar to him. This is one more step that the Kaizer Chiefs forward must take.
For a player whom some of the biggest sides on the continent courted and even attracted reported interest from European clubs, Khama exudes quality in abundant loads and with such massive talent can surely easily do the magic of coming up with a signature move that can be solely credited to only him. Perhaps it brings Billiat fortunate charm (like Ronaldo has declared that he will continue with the celebration because his fans are madly in love with it), but he has to find himself in that regard and be his own man. The Warriors pin-up boy is mot an amateur footballer anymore and probably dozens of kids out there must be looking out and up to him for both inspiration and emulation that it is important he divorces himself from the famous CR7 celebration.
While boasting soccer sorcery pace and a knack of scoring beautiful and important goals as part of his skills set, a new goal celebration of purely his own creation is the next step Khama Billiat needs to take.
If it is about football that you care let’s share the cheer because we are made for the game, mad about the game!
Manica Diamonds are now doing well in the Castle Lager Premiership. Winning against a formidable team like Chicken Inn was great and with that kind of performances a top 4 finish may be possible. – Tawanda Mhlanga, Dangamvura.
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