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Kalaba among Africa's best players, says Renard

Zambia coach Herve Renard says his star midfielder is among top 15 African players

Mahmoud Mohamed, Monday 6 Feb 2012
Kalaba
Rainford Kalaba of Zambia (Photo: Reuters)
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Zambia coach Herve Renard has said his team's midfielder Rainford Kalaba is among the 15 best players in Africa after his superb performances at the 2012 African Cup of Nations.

"For me, he is one of the best players in Africa, maybe in the top 15," Renard told a press conference on Monday.

The 25-year-old midfielder has gained the man of the match award in two successive games as he helped his side book a place in the CAN 2012 semifinals.

Frenchman Renard claimed that Zambia would have reached the semifinals of the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola if Kalaba had not been suspended.

"You know when we played the 2010 quarterfinal he was suspended and before the game I said we are lucky because Rainford is here," he said.

"Do you know the name his teammates are calling him on the pitch? They are calling him 'Master'."

"When they are asking for the ball they call out 'Master! Master!!'

"I think the word explains everything about how important he is to the team," he added. 

Zambia defeated Sudan 3-0 in the quarterfinals and reached the semis after a 16-year absence

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