Mannetti quits after 15 years

Mannetti quits after 15 years

WINDHOEK – On 30 December 2006, one of Namibia’s star football players Ricardo Mannetti will wear the national jersey for the very last time in a testimonial match that will symbolise his retirement from the beautiful game.

Mannetti has decided to retire from playing after 15 years in top flight football and after 70 national team caps. He told Nampa in an interview recently that despite his retirement as a player, he would still serve the game in a managerial or coaching capacity.šI spent 15 years playing and know the ups and downs of the game.There is no way that I can just leave football.”The testimonial match will see him play along other former Brave Warriors against the current Brave Warriors.Some South African players whom Mannetti has played with during his professional career in South Africa, will also be participating in the historic match.After impressing scouts at the Central Football League side Arsenal, he made his debut in the elite league with local side Civics at the age of 16 years and soon after donned the national team jersey.Mannetti also played for the South African premier league side Santos for seven years.Now 31, Mannetti affectionately also known as ‘Bucksey’ feels that he has played his best football and although some might think his retirement is premature, Mannetti says that it has come at the right time.šI am still young but not as fast as I used to be.Now I have the opportunity to plough back what I have learned to the younger generation through coaching or managing,š he said.He added that every player knows that he has to plan for life after football which is what he is intending to do.The testimonial match will be the first of its kind in Namibia.Such matches are normally organised when players retire from a club or national team after a long service.It is very common practice in Europe and other parts of Africa.šIt is only right to say goodbye to a player, and in return for the player to say goodbye to his fans, fellow players, and the entire football fraternity with such a match,š he said.Football fans will also witness how the current national team performs against their predecessors.Proceeds from the match will go to charity projects in Khomasdal and Katutura.He said most national team players hail from these communities and it is only fair to give something back.At the moment, Mannetti is hard at work organising the event that will see one of Namibia’s top musicians performing live at half time.Meanwhile, the likes of former national team striker Gerros Witbeen, Philip Gariseb, Orlando Haraseb, Page Ananias and other members of the Class of 1998 who have since retired from the game, are said to have taken to the practice field in anticipation of Mannetti’s testimonial.NampaHe told Nampa in an interview recently that despite his retirement as a player, he would still serve the game in a managerial or coaching capacity.šI spent 15 years playing and know the ups and downs of the game.There is no way that I can just leave football.”The testimonial match will see him play along other former Brave Warriors against the current Brave Warriors.Some South African players whom Mannetti has played with during his professional career in South Africa, will also be participating in the historic match.After impressing scouts at the Central Football League side Arsenal, he made his debut in the elite league with local side Civics at the age of 16 years and soon after donned the national team jersey.Mannetti also played for the South African premier league side Santos for seven years.Now 31, Mannetti affectionately also known as ‘Bucksey’ feels that he has played his best football and although some might think his retirement is premature, Mannetti says that it has come at the right time.šI am still young but not as fast as I used to be.Now I have the opportunity to plough back what I have learned to the younger generation through coaching or managing,š he said.He added that every player knows that he has to plan for life after football which is what he is intending to do.The testimonial match will be the first of its kind in Namibia.Such matches are normally organised when players retire from a club or national team after a long service.It is very common practice in Europe and other parts of Africa.šIt is only right to say goodbye to a player, and in return for the player to say goodbye to his fans, fellow players, and the entire football fraternity with such a match,š he said.Football fans will also witness how the current national team performs against their predecessors.Proceeds from the match will go to charity projects in Khomasdal and Katutura.He said most national team players hail from these communities and it is only fair to give something back.At the moment, Mannetti is hard at work organising the event that will see one of Namibia’s top musicians performing live at half time.Meanwhile, the likes of former national team striker Gerros Witbeen, Philip Gariseb, Orlando Haraseb, Page Ananias and other members of the Class of 1998 who have since retired from the game, are said to have taken to the practice field in anticipation of Mannetti’s testimonial.Nampa

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