Where are they now? Carlos Max

“Murehwa” was a popular nickname given to white and mixed-race soccer players in Zimbabwe’s yesteryears, but former Acadia United and Caps United defender Carlos Max became the most popular footballer to bear that name.

Carlos Max.
Carlos Max.

he remains one of the best mixed race players to ever to grace the Zimbabwean pitch. That he played for three of the country’s best ever clubs and went on to wear the national team jersey in the generation that boasted amazing talent also bears testimony to his gifts.

Max’s talent was honed at Arcadia United. He made his PSL debut in 1984 in the then semi-professional Zimbabwe Football Super League.

“Although it did not pay much back then, football was still the main sport in our community and Arcadia as a team was progressing in all major tournaments,” said Max, now 51.

“Every youngster from our community wanted to be part of Arcadia’s success and this gave me the zeal to challenge for honours. It was a dream come true for me to break into the first team at the age of 22.”

He gave a hint of what kept the Harare-based club strong back then. “Unity powered us over even big clubs like Dynamos, Caps United Blackpool and Highlanders. Our team also had good players, namely Charlie Jones, Dorman Moodley, Bethal Salis, Reg Payne, Mike Abrahams and Majid Dhana.”

For his excellent performances, Max was voted the club’s best player for the 1987 season, but that saw him being snatched by Caps United in the following season.

“It’s always painful to part ways with your family, but after four seasons with Arcadia, I needed a new challenge and Caps United gave me that opportunity,” said the former defender. “It was a difficult decision to make because Arcadia were still good and posed a threat to any flamboyant side. I also relished the prospects of rubbing shoulders with great players like Joel Shambo, Shaky Tauro, Friday Phiri, Brenna Msiska, Stanford Mutizwa and the then young and evergreen Abdul Karim Abdul.”

His consistency further opened doors to the national team in his first season with the “Green Machine.”

“At first, the national team was in a bad state, but the arrival of a great motivator in German-born Reinhard Fabisch completely changed everything and we began to believe in ourselves and win matches. We suddenly became a fiery side that beat African power houses like Egypt, Cameroon and Guinea in the 1990s.”

Max scooped the Caps Player of the Year accolade and was selected one of the best 11 Soccer Stars of the year for the 1991 and 1994 seasons, having starred for the national team and helped “Makepekepe” become the local “Cup Kings”.

One of his best matches was Caps United’s 1-0 Independence Trophy triumph over then high-riding Bulawayo-based Highlanders in 1992. “I played in midfield and was voted man of the match. After the game, our fans carried me on their shoulders. I still cherish that moment as if it happened yesterday.”

He left the game in 1998, after he had fractured his ankle. Max is now involved with Arcadia’s development team, while also running his own Courier Coy and a cross border transport business.

“My business is doing well and will be a legacy I live for my children,” he said.

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Post published in: Football
  • PapaShy

    those were the great days of zimbabwean soccer