Mark hopes Mihlali can emulate Zungu
Posted: 19 July 2018 Time: 16:00
Chippa United midfielder Mark Mayambela has backed his younger brother Mihlali’s move to Portugal, and hopes to see him emulate Bafana Bafana star Bongani Zungu.
The 21-year-old attacker had been on loan at Brage, who he had joined from Djurgarden in February, but the spell was cut short following the interest from Portugal.
Mark has since confirmed the details of the move, and believes it was an opportunity worth taking for his little brother.
“It’s a one-year loan deal, with an option to buy. I think it’s a huge step that he has taken, going to a different environment in a different market,” Mark tells KickOff.com.
“I think Portugal is one of the best when it comes to spotting good players, and it’s a place where the big fish in Europe make their player purchases from.
“So, I think he’ll also be trying to look out for those kinds of deals but, of course, he has to start somewhere. And I believe the club president likes him so much.
“I believe it’s a great opportunity for him to grow as a footballer, which is important for him, as a 21-year-old, to get game-time and as much experience as possible.
“I’ve spoken to the guys in Portugal and they say the coach already loves him after seeing his videos. He had his first training session yesterday and the team likes him.”
Mark has been following Mihlali’s move with keen interest, conversing with the relevant people to ensure the correct steps are taken for the future of his brother.
Having developed sound judgement skills through his own professional career, the 30-year-old former Orlando Pirates winger backs his brother to emulate Zungu, who also started out in Portugal before joining French Ligue 1 side Amiens last year.
“I spoke to the guy at the club [who facilitated the deal] and he told me the football in Portugal is more suitable to Mihlali’s style, it’s more technical,” he adds.
“We also looked at Zungu as an example, when he left Sundowns for Portugal. People doubted the move but he wanted to play and get experience before moving to a greater European league – a move which he has since made.
“Look at him now, he’s one of the top players in France and has attracted a lot of interest elsewhere, which is good for South Africa as a footballing country.
“So, it’s the same route we would like for Mihlali. We drew a lot of inspiration from Bongani’s situation in terms of moving to Portugal and then on to France.
“I would love for Mihlali to go a similar, or even a better, route to Bongani. He still has time, and he can still gain a lot to establish himself in Europe.”