The Sunday News
THIS week we start a series of profiling Warriors players who are in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers framework.
First in our series is Andy Rinomhota who is based in England.
For the love of his country, Rinomhota had to renounce his British citizenship so that he gets the chance to be called up for the Zimbabwe senior men’ football team.
Born to a Zimbabwean father and a British mother, Rinomhota found it prudent that he chooses the country of his ancestry.
Like every football player, Rinomhota had a dream to one day represent his country on the international stage.
When that dream came to fruition, there was no looking back.
For Rinomhota, it took a while for him to get that call-up to come home and do duty for the Warriors.
Born in the city of Leeds in England, the 26-year-old long harboured the prospect of having a Warriors shirt with his name printed on it.
It so happened this time around as he was called up to be part of the Warriors’ team for the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers campaign.
He played for AFC Portchester between 2014 and 2015 in the English Football League, where he gave a good account of himself by netting in 10 goals in 30 days.
The midfielder lured scouts from other teams and Reading was quick to get his signature. The coaches were impressed and the player stayed there up to 2022, turning out for the Under-18s, Under-21 and 23s teams.
Again, he was to score as many goals that eventually made it easy for him to make a professional breakthrough in 2017.
He extended his contract at Reading up to 2022.
The midfielder’s first goal for Reading was against Norwich City in 2019. His exploits earned him the Player of the Season award.
He moved from Reading to Cardiff City, a team that he joined in 2022.
That is when football fans and pundits locally started to follow closely his progression.
The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) joined in the fray and asked him to come home.
Zifa, in 2017 had to engage his father and the necessary paperwork started. He suffered an injury setback that postponed his featuring for the national team.
The call-up was to come in 2018 when Rinomhota was drafted into the Warriors team that was to take part at the Confederation of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) tournament.
On his decision to play for the national team, Rinomhota in October last year told BBC Sport that it was all for International exposure.
“It’s another experience and another side to my game, which I could add by playing international football. It would be a good experience,” he said.
Rinomhota’s profile in brief:
Full name: Andrew Farai Rinomhota
Date of birth: 21 April 1997
Birth place: Leeds, England
Teams: AFC Portchester (2014-2015), Reading (2018-2022), Cardiff City (2022 to date)
International call ups: 1
— Additional reporting: Online/ BBC Sport