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Ramahlwe Mphahlele reveals why he snubbed move to Belgium

Posted: 28 March 2017 Time: 09:17

Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele says it was the right decision to turn down an offer from Belgium club Westerlo in June last year.

Mphahlele left Mamelodi Sundowns at the end of last season, after captaining the side to the Absa Premiership title, as contract negotiations dragged on until the parties could not agree on renewal terms.

He then joined Chiefs during the off-season, whom reportedly presented him a better contract offer than what Sundowns were willing to give him to extend his stay at Chloorkop, and he then missed The Brazilians' victorious CAF Champions League campaign.

The 27-year-old has since revealed why he turned down the opportunity to move to Europe and opted to stay on home soil.

"I think my instincts were just right because that team [Westerlo] got relegated," said Mphahlele in reference to De Kemphanen, who finished in 16th place in the recently-ended league campaign. "I think I was right, for once in my life, I was right.

"But the history of that team wasn't one of the nicest; they get relegated, they go back up and then back down. So I didn't want to be in that situation – in my first year in a foreign country – to be fighting relegation.

"I don't want to be the one that says, 'I'm missing my mother' and stuff, but I want to go play football, hence I didn't join that team because the history of the team wasn't one of the best."

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Recently, former Bafana Bafana winger Delron Buckley said South African players are too pampered at home due to the increased financial muscle in the PSL, and they should go out and experience the cold and freezing weather he experienced in his time in Germany.

However, the former junior international captain, who is part of the current Bafana squad, feels the PSL is one league that is most appealing now, which has seen the majority of SA players returning to the country, with some leagues in Europe being of a similar standard to that of the Absa Premiership.

"If I go, I won't come back. I'll come back when I'm older and I don't have a team anymore," Mphahlele added.

"Look, I don't know [if I'll still go in the future]. Obviously every player wants to play [abroad] and they want to play football. It's no use you say you're in Europe but you're not playing.

"If you're not playing it's not working, but you're not a failure. You'll come back [home] and play again, and that makes you a stronger player, it means you've got character.

"I mean, even the level in some of the leagues in Europe – no disrespect to the countries – but we're there [on the same level] with them; your Norways, your Belgiums, I think we are up there with them.

"Yes, they have three two top teams but in terms in the technical ability, okay tactical maybe they are a little bit more than some of us. But I think we are there and South Africa is a good league.

"If they [South African players] come back they just have to know that they're coming to South Africa, and they have to continue working hard."

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Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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