Banyana Banyana and Atletico Madrid superstar Thembi Kgatlana, hopes to take the path paved by the likes of Nompumelelo Nyandeni and Portia Modise, and play in the UEFA Women’s Champions League next season.
Fresh from scoring her sixth goal of the season during the 3-1 win over Eibar, Kgatlana said they are firmly focused on the game against the La Liga Feminino champions, Barcelona this coming weekend.
In this game, they need to avoid a defeat to qualify for the Champions League next season.
“It has been amazing I grew in a lot of aspects as a person and as a footballer you know… I wish you could have been here to see our training session to see the intensity, to see people coming in and still be able to play football and laugh with teammates and enjoy doing this as a job, not just ngiyavuka ngioyodlala ibhola (I just wake-up go play football) no this is the job, this is how seriously everyone takes it in the team and it been amazing i-season yami la e Atleti (here in Atleti) unfortunately at the start of the season ngiye ngahlutshwa ngama (I have been troubled by) injury you know, but also the team has been helping me to come back. I’m injury free right now, getting some game time” said Kgatlana.
Breathing heavily down Atleti’s necks are their neighbours Real Madrid, who are two points behind them but also with an inferior goal differences. Kgatlana is banking on the quality of their squad to carry them through.
“We have a good team that’s why I’m saying when you start taking international players and you mix them with local based players you will get the best out them because everyone comes with a different CV and when everyone comes with their different CV and we put everything together we can build magic and I think this what this program was meant to do, to take Atleti to the next level” Kgatlane went on.
Against Barcelona, Atleti are meeting a team that comfortably won their league by more than 10 points and also are in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final against Olympique Lyon later this month. However Kgatlana has emphasised that anything is possible.
By Velile Mnyandu