Silver Strikers snappy forward Khuda Muyaba has dared Be Forward Wanderers red-hot striker Babatunde Adepoju, warning him that his days as TNM Super League leading scorer are numbered.
But the Nigerian import has welcomed Muyaba’s challenge, saying he is ready to fight for the Golden Boot Award.
Babatunde leads the scorers chart with 10 goals while Muyaba scored his seventh goal over the weekend in the Bankers’ 2-1 victory over TN Stars.
“Seven goals… Never give up. You are still on 10 goals Babatunde. Watch out,” Muyaba posted on his Facebook page.
“When I was at four goals, he had 10 goals. Now I am at seven goals, he is still at 10 goals. If it was Chiukepo [Msowoya] or Gastin [Simkonda], I would have surrendered. But not him; he can’t win the golden boot.”
In response to Muyaba’s outburst, Babatunde accepted the challenge.
“You are right with whatever you say about me. Competition is healthy; it makes you step up your game. It’s too early to conclude. God watches over everything,” he said.
Football commentator Patrick Simango said the two players will make the battle for the golden boot interesting.
“It’s turning out that Muyaba likes to wage psychological warfare against his opponents, especially his rivals. The spat on Babatunde is a tactic to demotivate the Nigerian which I hope will not bring bad blood between the two, but rather intensify competition,” he said.
Simango also observed that Muyaba could be a real threat to Babatunde if he is consistent.
“He [Muyaba] can overtake Babatunde if he continues to score consistently and if Babatunde does not. But if the Nigerian rediscovers his scoring boots, at the rate he has been banging in goals, it’s going to be a big challenge for Muyaba to catch up,” he said.
Rivalry between players is common both locally and internationally.
“The late Jack Chamangwana [Limbe Leaf Wanderers] and Kinnah Phiri [Bata Bullets] had a fierce rivalry on the field. Chancy ‘Vinny’ Gondwe for Bullets also had a rivalry with Kennedy Malunga [Wanderers]. Dennis Saidi and Boniface Maganga also had an interesting one. Mike Mkwate and Alfred Manyozo Jnr seem to be waging a silent rivalry, though it is difficult to notice,” said Simango.
The most famous rivalry on the international scene is between Juventus and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona and Argentina’s Lionel Messi.
Other well-known rivalries were between Diego Maradona and Pele; Johan Cryuff and Franz Beckenbauer; Roy Keane and Patrick Viera; Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael Van der Vaart.
The battle for the Golden Boot Award resumes this weekend as Wanderers face Mighty Tigers on Sunday at Mulanje Park while the Bankers face Nyasa Big Bullets at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.
The Nomads lead the table with 27 points, five adrift of Silver who are sixth with 22 points.