“#Zimbabwe” Zimbabwe international midfielder Marvelous Nakamba says he wants to use his time at Aston Villa and in the English Premier League to promote his country and inspire the next generation of footballers.
Nakamba,25, has played two league games for Aston Villa since joining them from Belgian side Club Brugge in August.
“It’s good for my country to have someone representing them and I also think it’s good for the upcoming players, the young ones back home,” he told BBC Sport.
“I think they can believe and have faith that nothing is impossible.”
The midfielder is the fourth Zimbabwean to play in the English top-flight league after former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobelaar, Coventry City star Peter Ndlovu and Manchester City striker Benjani Mwaruwaru.
He says having the three former Zimbabwe players as a reference point has helped him adapt to the English game.
“It’s something that keeps pushing me. It gives me confidence, faith and belief in myself,” said Nakamba.
“My family back home are proud of me. They are always watching me, they are pushing me and I just want to keep on representing them and try my best and keep on learning.”
He says his experience of playing in the Champions League is helping him adjust to the demands of the Premier League.
“The Premier League standard is higher when compared to the Belgian league but off course in Belgium I played Champions League with Club Brugge. Champions League and Premier League is almost similar and so it’s been good,” he explained.
“This is my first year here, I am still trying to settle, to learn and give everything every time I am given the opportunity to play.
“I am proud to be part of a great team with a great history like Aston Villa.
It’s an opportunity for me to learn and do my best and try to give everything.”
Nakamba was part of the Zimbabwe team at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
He started his career with local side Bantu Rovers and then moved to France with Nancy before joining Vitesse Arnhem and Club Brugge. BBC