By Scoop Reporter

I AM not distracted by people who criticise me but instead get motivated to work hard, Zambia national soccer team 2012 AFCON-winning forward Emmanuel Mayuka has said.

Mayuka says he is alive to the fact that he has been on the spotlight such that any little things he does attract serious scrutiny but that he will not dwell on everything negative said about him but will concentrate on working hard to regain his form which parachuted him to stardom.

“People always criticise me but I understand. I cannot always listen to the negative part of everything. People talk about any small thing; Mayuka this, Mayuka that but I understand.

“That doesn’t bother me really. It only motivates me. When they are talking more about me, I say to myself, this is time to actually work extremely hard,” Mayuka said.

Mayuka began his footballing career at the Lusaka Academy at the age of 11 but his quick feet and insatiable appetite for goals attracted the interest of Kabwe Warriors who came asking for his signature in 2007.

At Warriors, Mayuka hit the ground running and netted 15 goals in 23 games and his goal-scoring prowess earned him a place in the Zambia under-17 national team where he tore defenders at will and made scoring look easy.

He then joined Maccabi Tel Aviv before switching camp to Young Boys on May 28, 2010.

He scored the first goal for Zambia at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, earning a victory against Senegal. In the same tournament, he scored against Libya in the group stage and it was his goal against Ghana which eliminated the Black Stars from the tournament.

In the finals, Mayuka played all 120 minutes against Ivory Coast in Zambia’s penalty shootout victory. His progress caught the eye of English Premier League side Southampton who signed him on August 28, 2012 on a five-year deal and made his debut against Manchester United on September 2, 2012.

At Southampton, a share of misfortune made him fail to consolidate his position in the starting 11 and therefore was sent on loan to Sochaux in the 2013-2014 season before he was sold to Metz the following year when his form dipped further.

On November 9, 2017, Mayuka returned to Israel and joined Hapoel Ra’anana before coming back to Zambia where he joined Green Buffaloes last year. He has been under the books of NAPSA Stars since February 2020.

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