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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mariga’s Combative Display Undone by Zizzou-like Head-butt

He’s been tipped by goal.com as Rafael Benitez’s and Inter Milan’s Javier Mascherano. No he’s not from Argentina nor any other South American nation. He’s from Kenya – the ever football-wrangling Kenya who were appallingly humbled 1-0 by minnows Guinea Bissau a few weeks ago in the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifiers. He’s versatile, has attacking instincts, tackles tough and possesses a ferocious shot on his feet, and, well, owns a hammer which he duly uses to traverse across his native country once in a while.

He’s Mcdonald Mariga, the Kenyan midfield sensation who became the first East and Central African footballer to win a UEFA Champions League medal. The son of Noah Wanyama was snapped up by the ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho (who has since left Inter for El Madrid) at the close of transfer window in January and has since gone ahead to win the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia, the Supercoppa Italiana and the 2009-10 UEFA Champions League.

There were some doubts whether the 23-year-old prodigy would nail a role under new tactician Rafael Benitez. But all these doubts now seem to be some passing cloud as the ruthless manager appears to be having confidence in
Mariga going by the fact that he handed the Kenyan international a full 90-minute role at the heart of the defending Champion’s midfield in their match against Turkey’s FC Twente.

The former Parma man was combative, to say the least, and showed some glimpses of panache that did no harm to his undoubted class. However, his commendable all-round performance was undone by an unnecessary head-butt on Twente’s Theo Janssen which went unpunished but must have reminded many of the Zizou-Materazzi incident.

Whatever Jansen might have said or done to the Kenyan international is unclear but the two scuffled even after the final whistle. In the Guinea Bissau match, Mariga was reported to have had a supremacy battle with his country mate Dennis  the Menace Oliech, who plies his trade in the French Ligue 1 and was part of the Auxerre team that lost 2-0 to AC Milan in another Champions League encounter. Whether he head-butted Jansen thinking he was Oliech or simply grew up to be a Zizou is something that only Mariga knows best.

Watch the video below:

And That's thesteifmastertake!!