Mahlangu not home sick yet
THERE are players who are happy to take the first flight back home when things do not go well in Europe, but not May Mahlangu. Even through the darkest times, the 27year-old has resisted the temptation to sign for teams such as Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs or even SuperSport United, who have all shown interest in him in the past. Mahlangu’s European adventure has now taken him to Romania, where he signed a three-year contract with giants Dinamo Bucheresti last month. By signing for Dinamo, Mahlangu ended speculation about a return to South Africa. I knew I had to be patient and wait for the right move. I knew that I would get a team in Europe because that’s where I made a name for myself. There were a lot of rumours saying I am coming back to South Africa, but it’s everyone’s dream to play overseas. I want to play European football for as long as I can,” said Mahlangu, who has previously played in Sweden, Turkey and Belgium. I went to Europe when I was 17, so going there at an early age helped me a lot, to see what European football is all about.”
Mahlangu’s secret to prolonging his career in Europe is learning the culture of the country he plays in as quickly as possible. He also knows that to succeed in Europe, especially as an African, he has to double his efforts on the training ground to get ahead of the local players, who are often preferred in place of foreigners.
You ll always face challenges. Obviously there are no favours when you are there. But you have to play your best football so that you can be recognised by the coaches.”
When you come from another country, you have to double your efforts. It comes with patience, belief and how strong you are.”
Mahlangu, who has played two matches since getting his work permit, says he has already caught the eye of the Dinamo supporters but admits there’s a lot of pressure at the club. Dinamo have won 18 league titles, and they usually participate in the Uefa Champions League or the Europa League.
The team always wants you to give more. They are a team of ambition. They always want to win things and they want to participate in the (Uefa) Champions League and in the Europa League. There’s always pressure. Recently, we lost two games and the fans were very angry with us.”
Mahlangu will eventually come back home to play in the PSL. However, at the moment the midfielder has dreams of making it big in Europe.
I have always said it would be nice to come back home, but not now. I am 27 and there’s still a lot to give in European football,” said Mahlangu, who is part of the Bafana team that played Burkina Faso last night.
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