Mahlangu not home sick yet

Sunday World - - World Of Sport - TSHEP­ANG MAIL­WANE in Oua­gadougou

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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