Kalaba said since the Chipolopolo will be the team to beat at the soccer showpiece slated for South Africa, there is need to prepare adequately.
He said in an interview from Lubumbashi yesterday that the Chipolopolo stars are eager to defend the Africa Cup crown.
“We need intensive preparations because we are the champions and all the teams that have qualified for the Africa Cup will be looking forward to beating Zambia.
“We are the champions and we want to continue being champions,” said Kalaba, who is among four Zambian players nominated for the 2012 Africa-footballer-of-the-year award.
Others are Christopher Katongo, Emmanuel Mayuka and Stopilla Sunzu.
Kalaba also said he is recovering from a groin injury which saw him miss last Saturday’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Uganda, which Zambia won 9-8 on penalties.
Zambia have avoided last year’s finalists Ivory Coast, Ghana and hosts South Africa in the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
He is hoping to return to action for TP Mazembe in this weekend’s CAF Champions League second leg semi-final against Tunisian side Esperance.