Spain-based starlet revels in SA support

Netshitangani, 18, has captured the attention of South African football followers over the past few weeks after footage of his undeniable ability went viral on social media.

Having left South Africa three years ago to take his career to the next level in Europe, the fleet-footed attacker has made rapid strides in the Kaptiva Sports Academy based in Barcelona.

During his time in Mzansi, the teenager represented Sandton FC, Highlands Park, Bophelo Football Academy, Discovery FC, and the esteemed academy of TUKS before making the bold decision to relocate abroad.

"In 2014 I started at Tuks Sports High School, which is linked to the University of Pretoria High-Performance Centre," he told KickOff.com.

"The academy was instrumental in grooming me, it contributed significantly to the person I am today but I began to feel stagnant and I was hungry.

"I wanted more - to take my game to a higher level," he explained. "I then researched opportunities in Europe, I presented my proposal to my parents, they bought into it.

"I found a few residential football academies in Europe, checked them out and applied, several of them invited me for trials.

"Kaptiva Sports Academy, Barcelona was my first choice. I then moved to Barcelona in September 2016, to be at Kaptiva."

Netshitangani, who's comfortable with the ball on either foot, holds the technical ability to thrive in any role in attacking positions and concedes the sudden attention has humbled him, but he is ready to continue on his path to success.

That has led to recognition from Amajita coach Thabo Senong.

"It [the attention] and publicity came as a surprise. It's heartwarming to be recognised, appreciated and celebrated by my own people in South Africa.

"Admittedly it's a bit overwhelming, however, I am not allowing it to get to my head," he added. "I'm focused on my goals and objectives and the immediate goal is to play professionally."

On being named in the provisional 75-man list for the World Cup in Poland this year: "It feels like a dream, I am baffled by how things are starting to shape up in terms of my career. I'm ripe and ready to work hard and impress."

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