Player of the Weekend: Thabo Cele

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Thabo Cele continued with his good season in Portugal this past weekend.

The KZN academy graduate was awarded the Man of the Match award after another good performance for Cova di Piedade in Portugal.

Cele started in his usual central defensive midfield role for the Portuguese side as romped to a 1-0 victory against SL Benfica B.

It took just 11 minutes for Portuguese striker Hugo Firmino to find the back of the net as the away side got three crucial points. The result moved Piedade up to 13th spot on the table with 26 points from 26 games.

Cele has played 22 league games netting twice and assisting another strike for the Lisbon club.

The midfielder’s current contract expires at the end of the season and he will hope to get a deal with a Primeira Liga club as he continues his rise in Europe.

On Sunday afternoon, Piedade will travel to Feirense in the league and the 24-year-old will be eager to continue his form.

It’s been a good journey so far for the South African youth international. He moved to Portugal at the age of 18 to join Real Massama and in his first year in Portugal he was immediately signed by SL Benfica on a five-year deal.

Eager to play regular first team football, Cele left Benfica to join Cova Piedade where he has been playing as a regular since 2018.

He has also been involved in the South African national youth structures. In 2017, he played at the U20 Fifa World Cup with Amajita featuring in all three group games as the Cosafa nation got knocked out in the group stage phase of the competition. Coach David Notoane has also included the dynamic midfielder in his U23 squads.

At senior level, Cele got called up by coach Stuart Baxter for the 2018 Cosafa Cup.

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By Prince Sobayeni

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