Upcoming Warriors goalkeeper Martin Mapisa is currently enjoying his football at Secunda B division side Zamora Cf after breaking through to the first XI of the team. He took time to chat to Soca263 about his memorable breakthrough at Zamora against Villareal at the beginning of the month, his ambitions and life in Spain. Here is our admin Alex Majoka chatting to the talented young goalie.
AM: Firstly, I want to say congratulations on your recent experience, playing against big Laliga side like Villarreal is not a small feat. Tell me how was the feeling stepping up against those big name players?
Mapisa : Oooh wow that was a great experience for me. I couldn’t believe I managed to stand against Villarreal because I have never faced any Laliga team before, this was my first time. Even though we lost the match, yes, I understand it hurts as well but I’m also happy that I tried my best. I didn’t prove anyone but myself and I had a very good experience. It showed myself that I am ready to face anything, whatever comes my way I can handle it.
AM: True, great experience it was and what was your best moment during or after that Villarreal game?
Mapisa : There was one of Villarreal players who came to me after the game, his name is Sofiane (Chakla, former Morocco international defender) . He gave me his jersey and had some words of encouragement for me. He told me I was good and I should keep pushing. He even send me an encouraging message on Instagram. I was humbled.
AM: What was your Coach’s comments on you before or after the Villarreal game?
Mapisa : He told me to play it simple, to go out there and be the Martin Mapisa we know. He told me not to put big names and the underdog tag in my head. He said I should play to the best of my ability and enjoy the game. Even before I broke to the first XI , he always assured me that my chance would come. He showed me that he beleived in me and that kept me going.
AM: Tell me how did your move from Velez to Zamora came about, who scouted you?
Mapisa : I don’t really know how it came about, but I think it was after my performances for Velez where I had featured consecutively for six months after breaking in the first XI. Soon after I received a call from my agent telling me I had to move to Zamora.
AM: You’ve excelled quite significantly ever since you moved to Spain starting from Tercera Division, which is the 7th tier in that country to Secunda B division (3rd tier) in short space of time. How has this been possible and what’s your secret to success?
Mapisa : For me there is no secret to success, you just have to work hard, pray and believe in yourself. It’s normal as humans we are sometimes clouded with negative thoughts, but as soon as you start focusing on the positive everything becomes possible.
AM: Mmmm okay ….
Mapisa : Yes, before I came to Spain I had doubts about my career as a goalkeeper. I used to doubt if I was going to make it as a professional goalkeeper but as soon as I started believing in myself and trust in God everything fell in place.
AM: Who has been your greatest support so far in your career?
Mapisa : First of all I can say my family members have been very supportive of me including my Aces Academy family too, they’re always there for me. I have friends also who always motivates me and a lot of other people who I don’t really know, but pushing for the success of my career. I appreciate everyone.
AM: What do you do on your spare time?
Mapisa : I usually talk to my people, family and friends. Watch movies and sometimes tour of the city and spend time with my teammates or friends.
AM: Do you speak Spanish? And how important was it for you to learn the language?
Mapisa : Yes, I do speak Spanish now. The last time I was playing in the lower divisions they were a lot of English speaking players so it wasn’t necessary for me to learn the language. But when I arrived at Velez a lot of players spoke Spanish and it worked on my disadvantage as I couldn’t communicate with other players. I started learning myself the language. I enrolled for individual classes and they helped me a lot. Now I can say I speak about 70% Spanish and I understand better. I realised as a goalkeeper it was important for me to communicate with everyone. The moment I got my Spanish right i even tied my spot in the first XI.
AM: Besides the goakeeping position, what other positions have you tried playing?
Mapisa : I have tried the striker position, and I still enjoy playing as a striker everytime I get opportunity to play in training.
AM: Which player do you look up to for inspiration? Your role model?
Mapisa : Germany and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer
AM: What’s your favorite food in Spain?
Mapisa : Hahahaha, I don’t have any favorite food in Spain man.
AM: LOL, Okey. Where do you see Martin Mapisa in the next five years?
Mapisa : I am confident, with God willing I am going to be competing in one of the big leagues in Europe. If not Laliga, Italy, France, Netherlands or England that’s where I see myself in five years.
AM: What’s your advice to the young Zimbabweans who are looking up to follow in your footsteps?
Mapisa : Obviously work hard, there’s no excuse there, and be patient. Remain passionate and believe in yourself. Pray, work hard and believe that’s the only things I can encourage.
AM: Thank you so much Martin for your time?
Mapisa : Always a pleasure bro.