Name: Maximilian Mbaeva
Date of Birth: 14/04/1989
Place of Birth: Windhoek
Marital Status: Single
Car/s: VW Golf1 and VW Golf 7 GTI
Current club: Golden Arrows (SA)
Previous Clubs: Desert Rollers, Rambles and African Stars.
Career achievements: I won the second division with Desert Rollers in Omaheke. I also won two Namibia Premier League (NPL) titles with African Stars and the NFA Cup twice with Stars. I won the 2015 Cosafa Cup with the Brave Warriors and was chosen Goalkeeper of the Tournament during the 2016 edition of the Cosafa Cup host in Namibia. I won the South African National First Division (NFD) in with Golden Arrows and we got promoted back to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in the 2016 season.
Favourite local or international footballer: Local is Ronnie Kananelo, and Germany’s Manuel Neuer is my other favourite.
Favourite football club: Arsenal
Your most memorable match: It was against Orlando Pirates during my very first season in PSL. Also, winning the 2015 Cosafa Cup final and eventually the trophy to make history.
Your toughest match? I can’t remember the year exactly, but it was an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier away against Senegal.
Biggest career disappointment? When African Stars lost out on the league title in the last match of the season, allowing Black Africa to win it.
If not football, which other sport would you have played? It would have been volleyball.
Which Namibian player do you most enjoy playing with? Captain fantastic himself, Stigga Ketjijere.
You were part of the Brave Warriors squad at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt. How would you describe that experience? Being part of Namibia’s squad that qualified for the Afcon was the biggest achievement of my career because that is the biggest tournament on the continent and any footballer wants to be part of that history.
With the 2019 Afcon experience and exposure, how have you since grown as a player? As I said, I really have to say it was a big deal for me being at the Afcon. As an experienced player, who has been part of the national team since 2008, it was big for me – even though I didn’t play a single match. Just to be there to guide and support the young ones was a dream come true. Coming from such a big tournament, you grow as a player.
You have also managed to remain quite competitive at club level for Golden Arrows in the PSL, how are you finding your time there? It has been great, really. At first, when I came to Golden Arrows, it was a bit difficult for me as it is always the case with any player coming from another country, but the club did a great job in welcoming me and making me feel at home. Lucky for me, the year I joined Arrows, there were already two Namibians: Deon Hotto and Chris Katjiukua. Those two guys also made things easy for me, as I at least had someone to hang around with. It’s always a challenge coming from another country and joining a professional football set up.
How difficult has your journey been getting to where you are today? Eish… Nothing in life comes easy but with hard work, discipline and remaining humble in your everyday life, it is possible. My journey has been difficult, especially when one considers where I come from – the streets of Gobabis. It was tough for me coming here but with God’s grace, I’m here now. With God, everything is possible; you just have to believe.
Comparing experiences, what does Namibia need to do for football to catch up with the rest of the world? I think when I have to compare experiences, I can confidently say that Namibia has plenty of talent but unfortunately, we don’t have too many scouts to help players move abroad to bigger clubs. Also, another problem is the people who run Namibian football. I really think it’s time we come together and start football. While they are fighting, the country is busy losing out on talent, and that also affects the national team. The talent is there; let’s just end the politics.
Your ambitions for 2020 and beyond? Just looking forward to this year, even though it wasn’t the best year for the whole world because of Covid-19. Also, I plan on playing more games for my club and remain focused and continue working hard at all times
2020-07-30 15:00:34 | 4 months ago