Playing in Europe was my dream – Motlhalo

Share exclusively caught up with Banyana Banyana and Djurgadens IF new midfielder Linda Motlhalo who shared her excitement about moving to Europe to fulfil a “long-term dream”.

“I had a year contract with Beijing (BG Phoenix in China) meaning I would have to look elsewhere for a team, so that motivated this move (Djurgadens IF) basically and it has long been my dream to move to Europe,” said Motlhalo.

The Banyana international went on to explain what motivated her to join one of Europe’s top women’s football clubs in Sweden, Stockholm as well as how her dream of playing in Europe happened in an instant.

“So, while I was still weighing my options, I got a call from Djurgardens saying they’ve looked at my profile and they love it, so they are interested in me. I was happy with the deal and I signed for them.”

Motlhalo said that the World Cup last year played a big role in putting Banyana players such as herself, Refiloe Jane and Thembi Kgatlana on the spotlight.

“They are a big club, so I’m happy to be moving to Europe because it was my long-term dream to play that side,” – Motlhalo. 

Banyana were debutants at the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France. The global showpiece was a perfect platform for South African players to showcase their talent and attract interest from European clubs.

“Of course the 2019 Fifa World Cup really played a huge role because now South Africans are being recognised by teams overseas and we did not go to the World Cup just to add to the numbers, but we actually fought our hearts out. People do know now that South Africa has got so much talent,” said the former SA U20 captain.

Asked about her personal ambitions for the season and whether she will wear her famous jersey number 10 this season, a jubilant Motlhalo replied, “my personal objectives will be to help the team win the league, get some goals and make a mark in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

“I’m not yet sure about the jersey numbers, but hopefully I will get to wear 10. We will see, hahahaha,” concluded the 21-year-old playmaker.

By Prince Sobayeni

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