Emmanuel Banda reflects on U-20 World Cup with optimism

Believes he is on track to be invited to senior Zambian squad soon

After participating in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, Zambian midfielder Emmanuel Banda is now targeting an invitation to Zambia’s national team. Banda was a key contributor to getting Zambia into the world quarterfinals, as well as to a victory in the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year. “With the right people around me I think I can make it,” Banda opined as to his chances of getting onto the Zambian senior squad. “Most of us want to represent our country but we have to keep the discipline and be humble. We will wait for the coaches because they know when we are ready,” he continued. In the meantime, he is focusing on getting prepared for the 2019 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations.

Following Zambia’s shocking toppling of Portugal in their opening match at the Under-20 World Cup, Zambian head coach Wedson Nyirenda also talked about the philosophy that Banda recently reiterated and how it was leading the entire club to a surprising success on the international stage. “On my coming to Zambia I introduced the new philosophy of playing, the new concept. So the young boys, the U20s, are the first to adapt and do that,” Nyirenda said at the time. He also talked about how Banda is among the several rising stars that will soon be ready for the senior stage, along with Patson Daka and Edward Chilufya. Zambia would later fall to Italy 3-2 in the quarterfinals, despite goals from Chilufya and Daka; the latter goal was set up by an excellent pass courtesy of Banda.

Banda currently plays for the Portuguese third tier club FC Esmoriz, but he hopes to improve enough to also get a call to one of the more elite European leagues, such as the English Premier League.

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