Munetsi’s star shines bright despite woodwork woes

ZIMBABWE international midfielder Marshall Munetsi

ZIMBABWE international midfielder Marshall Munetsi is currently enjoying his best season at his French club Stade de Reims in terms of goals and assists.

So far the former Orlando Pirates man has six goals and three assists this season, but his goal column could be much better with a bit of luck in front of goal.

Munetsi is ranked among the top seven players to be denied a goal by the goal post having failed to beat the woodwork four times so far.

The 26-year-old versatile midfielder has featured for Stade de Reims 28 times and has been one of the best players for Will Still's men.

Lille's Canadian forward Jonathan David tops the list of frame-chasers in the French top-flight league having hit the goalposts eight times.

David is having an impressive season with 21 goals and four assists in 31 matches; and is the second top scorer, one goal behind Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

World Cup winner and record Balon d’Or holder Lionel Messi has struck the woodwork seven times while teammate Folarin Balogun is third on the list with six. Clermont Foot midfielder Muhammed Cham, Seko Fofana of RC Lens and Nantes' Ludovic Blas all have been denied by the goal frame five times.

Tied in seventh place with Munetsi is Gauthier Hein who plays for AJ Auxerre, Grejohn Kyei (Clermont Foot) and Mbappe.

Interestingly Lille and PSG have the highest number of posts hit this season with a total of 19 times with AJ Auxerre second on 16.

Munetsi's side Stade de Reims Olympique Marseille, Clermont and Nantes' have the same number; 15.

At the moment, the Zimbabwean star is the second top scorer behind Balogun who has 18 goals with six matches remaining in the league race.

Last season was Munetsi's best since he moved to France in 2019 with five goals and two assists, but this year his coach, Still, has deployed him in a more advanced position.

Reims are currently eighth in Ligue 1 with 47 points from 32 games and will be hoping to qualify for Europe next season.

Munetsi could cap off what has been a memorable season in style by winning the prestigious Marc-Vivien Foe Award, which is presented to the best African player in French Ligue 1.

Munetsi features on the 11-man Marc-Vivien Foe Award nominees list which also includes Achraf Hakimi, Chancel Mbemba, Habib Diallo, Hamari Traoré, Mama Baldé, Mohamed Camara, Salis-Abdul Samed, Séko Fofana, Terem Moffi, Yunis Abdelhamid.

The winner will be announced on May 30.

The Mabvuku-born star became the second Zimbabwean to be nominated for the award after compatriot Tino Kadewere.

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