Is Avram Grant the Best Foreign in Zambia’s History?
If you have been around the football scene for a minute, the name Avram Grant must resonate with you. Once the coach for arguably one of the biggest teams in the English Premier League, Chelsea, Grant is now extending his coaching expertise to the Zambian National team.
The former Chelsea manager has had an impressive streak that kicked off in September 2007 and ended in May 2008. At a press conference held in Lusaka, the 67-year-old manager attributed choosing the Zambian national team to undertaking a challenge.
From his previous results, he has clearly shown that he is here to shake things up. The Zambian National team, the Chipolopolo, never qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, has seen greener pastures at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
While this year’s competition has been postponed due to concerns over the weather in Ivory Coast, the Chipolopolos have made quite the mark. Under Grant’s coaching, they kicked off the 2023 AFCON with a high tempo, beating Lesotho 3-1.
We fans will have to practice patience and see what coach Grant and his squad have in store for us come January 17th, when they will face DR Congo.
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Given his reputation, Grant might lead the Chipolopolos to win the AFCON. During his tenure at Chelsea, he took the team to the Champions League finals, which was not easy.
Despite losing to Manchester United in a penalty shootout, it still is a worthy feat. He did the same with Ghana in the 2015 AFCON and conceded a penalty shootout to Ivory Coast.
Grant had the following remarks, “When I was in Ghana, we did well. We lost in the semi-finals in penalties, and now it’s a big challenge in Zambia.
People love football, and I think it’s an opportunity for this country to promote football itself because it’s a very nice country with very nice people. In football, we have a vision to put Zambia in a better place than it is now.”
He is set and focused on putting Zambia back on the map. The Israeli coach has his eyes set on qualifying for the 2026 World Cup and regards winning the AFCON as a worthy step in his conquest.
Over the past years, the Zambian national team has left an indelible mark in the AFCON tournaments. With Avram Grant in their corner, the Chipolopolos have endless possibilities.