Bill Leeroy Antonio, hailing from Zimbabwe, is a prominent professional footballer currently serving as a winger for KV Mechelen, a distinguished Belgian club. He also proudly represents the Zimbabwe national team.
Growing Up in Dzivarasekwa
Antonio spent his childhood in Dzivarasekwa under the guidance of his father, Nowell Antonio.
Bill Antonio was born on September 3, 2002, marking the beginning of his remarkable journey in the world of football.
His educational journey commenced at Gillingham Primary School, where he delved into first-team football in Grade Five. Antonio’s passion for the sport led him to the Dzivarasekwa Football Academy in Grade Six, eventually earning him an offer from Prince Edward after completing Grade Seven. He also showcased his skills at the Diamond Eagles Academy.
At Prince Edward, Antonio not only captained the Under-14 side but also ascended to the senior team’s captaincy. His leadership extended beyond the football field, as he also captained the school’s athletics team. For his Advanced Level studies, Antonio pursued Literature in English, History, and Family and Religious Studies.
Antonio’s career witnessed early success, winning the Junior League with Dzivarasekwa Academy and securing the top goal-scorer title. His prowess also contributed to the Prince Edward team’s victory in the Harare Schools Championship in 2017 and 2018.
Dynamos Football Club
Following standout performances at the COSAFA U20 Youth Championship, Antonio attracted the attention of Dynamos Football Club. In November 2021, he earned a call-up to the Zimbabwe senior men’s football squad for the World Cup qualifiers, stepping in for Macauley Bonne.
Antonio underwent a month-long trial with KV Mechelen, a prestigious Belgian club, subsequently securing a five-year contract. His journey with Mechelen’s second team, Jong KV, in the Belgian Division 2 began during the 2023-24 season. Antonio made a noteworthy professional debut, scoring the winning goal against Gent on January 19, 2024, marking Mechelen’s first away victory against Gent since 2012.
Antonio’s international debut for the Zimbabwe national team occurred at the age of 18 in a 1-0 loss to South Africa during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification on November 11, 2021. His inclusion in the Zimbabwe squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, although marred by organizational issues, exemplifies his growing influence in the world of football.