Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito declares he wants the Warriors job


High-flying Baltemar Brito, who is the current head coach of Highlanders Football Club, has made his intentions known: he wants to be the Zimbabwe men’s football national team coach.


Speaking at a press conference in Bulawayo, Brito said that he received a call from Jose Mourinho—also known as the ‘Special One’—that he should grab the opportunity and challenge of coaching the Warriors with both hands.

Zimbabwe is currently looking for a competent football coach to lead the Warriors after FIFA lifted its ban on the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA).

The Warriors’ coaching role has elicited wide interest, even from beyond the country’s borders, following the job advertisement announced by the ZIFA Normalisation Committee (appointed by FIFA to run the affairs of ZIFA until July 2024). However, applications for the role closed on 11 August.

Briefing media ahead of Highlanders’ league clash with army side Black Rhinos on Sunday, Brito said that he received a call from Mourinho (who is the coach of Italian Serie A side AS Roma) nudging him to take up the national role.

We have four more months to our contract at Highlanders and no one has approached us in terms of renewal,” Brito said.

We know that our manager applied for this job, for the Warriors job and even this week (last week), I received a call from Jose Mourinho because he read something about the possibility of me being one of the next Warriors coach and he gave me the support and he gave me the power to accept the challenge if it comes.

Brito hinted that since there is now a short period left regarding his contract, he has already started looking for other coaching prospects elsewhere.

But it depends not only on us because we are focused here. We have four months to our contract and we have to start thinking about the future because with the four months, we don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know if Highlanders will or will not renew our contracts. Too many doves in the air, so we need to look around,” the Portuguese gaffer said, highlighting that he was proud to be associated with Zimbabwe.

We came here with an open mind and open heart to work seriously, to try to improve the club, Highlanders and football in general, giving my opinion, giving my suggestions, connecting with other coaches, connecting with other people and even connecting with the fans, the supporters and citizens in general.

Not only Highlanders fans, we never reject, for example, a picture with a guy from another club because we are here and we like to be in Zimbabwe and being connected and linked with this possibility (Warriors job), for me, makes me proud because the best club in the country is the national team.”

Highlanders have performed remarkably well this season, as they have an unbeaten stretch in the Premier Soccer League this season. Bosso are five points clear on the log standings. Last week, they proceeded to the second round of the Chibuku Super Cup after they edged city rivals Bulawayo Chiefs 6-5 on penalties (the game had ended in a 2-2 draw).

Riding on this current top-notch form, many have tipped Brito to win the league title with Bosso season, ending a 17-year drought for the Bulawayo giants. And it is on this premise too that many believe he is the right fit for the Warriors job.

Brito is a UEFA Pro coaching licence holder with vast experience, having worked as Mourinho’s assistant coach at FC Porto in Portugal, Chelsea in England and Inter Milan in Italy.

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