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How the Soweto Derby experience honed Marshall Munetsi

Ex-Orlando Pirates midfielder Marshall Munetsi has revealed how playing in the Soweto Derby honed him before joining the French Ligue 1.

The ex-Pirates midfielder Marshall Munetsi left the DStv Premiership in 2019 to join Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims on a free transfer.

Munetsi gradually rose in South African football after joining lower-tier league side FC Cape Town in 2015. The 27-year-old spent one year at FC Cape Town before signing for Pirates at the start of the 2016/17 season.

But he was immediately sent on loan to Baroka FC, where he excelled and convinced the Buccaneers to recall him towards the end of last season.

And while he was an underrated player for Pirates, Munetsi managed to secure a life-changing move to France. But he is first to admit that the pressure that came with playing for the Sea Robbers, particularly in the Soweto Derby refined him.

Marshall Munetsi in the Soweto derby
Marshall Munetsi against Bernard Parker in the Soweto derby

According to transfermarkt, he played against Kaizer Chiefs four times. Three of the meetings were in the DStv Premiership and one Carling Cup clash.


Munetsi said his derby experiences helped him master the art of handling high-pressure games in Europe.

After switching to France, he went on to face off with the big-name players in high-pressure games. These include the likes of Lionel Messi [then at PSG] and Kylian Mbappé.

“There are two major highlights for me, and that would be my debut versus Baroka FC at Orlando Stadium and my first start in the historical Soweto Derby,” Munetsi told FARPost.

“When you play that derby something does change in you as a player. And for me, it was for the good because from there, l could play comfortably in front of any crowd.

During his time then under coach Milutin Sredojević, the Zimbabwean international was deployed as a defender.

This season, he has featured in 21 Ligue matches, where he scored three goals while providing four assists.

RELATED STORY: How Marshall Munetsi has improved since leaving Orlando Pirates

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