Kimberley-born defender Thibang Sindile Phete has truly taken Portugal’s top division by storm in 2020.
This comes after the defender’s Man of the Match performance against Vitoria Guimaraes earned him another spot in the league’s match day 1 team of the week.
Phete has been included in the Primeira Liga Team of the Week 3 times already in 2020 before this past weekend’s performance where his solo goal helped SAD Belenenses overcome Vitoria Guimaraes.
The interesting statistic about the 26-year-old is that whether he plays in the centre back or holding midfield role he does the job excellently.
After Phete scored he had muted celebrations against his former club something which he explains as a sign of respect. “I don’t score too many goals, but when I scored against my former club it was different as I couldn’t celebrate as a sign of respect for Guimaraes,” he explained.
“The club was with me through a tough time when I battled with a foot injury that took me out for a while, in fact to be honest it is at Guimaraes where I was converted to a centre back full time and today I am enjoying that position – all because of them,” Phete told #FARPost.
The Stars of Africa graduate has come a long way from his days at Milano United back in 2013/14 to moving to Tourizense in Portugal’s lower tier and eventually joining Vitoria Guimaraes in 2015 which is where he made his name before that scary injury in the 2015/16 season.
Phete would go through rehabilitation while playing for Guimaraes’s B team until the 2019/20 season when he joined newly promoted Famalicao who later loaned him to Belenenses where he had a successful short loan before signing a permanent two-year-deal with the Lisbon-based side.
Belenenses is known for its belief in young players and their average squad age of 26 is full proof of this. There are a few youngsters at the club battling it out including another South African Sphephelo Sithole who debuted for the club last season and is part of their 2020/21 roaster currently.
By Prince Sobayeni