Former Chiefs defender details European move

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Zimbabwean defender Teenage Hadebe has revealed how he was certain that his move to Europe would happen at the end of his two-year stay at Kaizer Chiefs.

Hadebe played the last of his 39 matches for Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup final defeat to TS Galaxy in May 2019 and then went to the AFCON finals in Egypt where despite the Warriors coming stuck in the group stages he came out with flying colours.

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Prior to heading off to the continental showcase, he had already told his teammates at Chiefs that he is not coming back.

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"To be honest, when the season finished in South Africa, there was the Africa Cup of Nations the following month," he is quoted as saying by The Herald.

"I told some of my teammates (at Chiefs) that if I play at the Afcon, you won't see me here again. Some of the guys dismissed it as a joke but I had that feeling that I will fulfil my dream to play in Europe and it happened. I had a good tournament and I had different agents sending me messages on Instagram, saying 'would you want to play in Europe?' I weighed the offers, and the Turkey deal was the best option then," Hadebe added.

A move to Turkish Super Lig club Yeni Malatyaspor materialised soon after for Hadebe who featured in 28 games in his maiden season. The defender also featured in the Europa League before later receiving interest from MLS club Houston Dynamo.

"Before Dynamo, my agent contacted me and said are you willing to play in America, and I said just give me some time. If better offers come, I can accept because America is a good country," Hadebe added.

"My family can live permanently here, my children can go to good schools, unlike in Turkey where they cannot speak English. The way they (Houston officials) spoke to me, I understood everything. As a player sometimes it's good to feel important. They showed how much they were interested in me and I had to sit down with my family to talk about this move," he says.

Since making his debut against Vancouver Whitecaps on July 21, he has started all the last 16 games, contributing one assist.

Last week Hadebe was named in the MLS Team of the Week after a goalless draw against Vancouver again.

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