Wanted in Belgium
Downs defender Anele Ngcongca has been approached by newly promoted Cercle Brugge
ANELE Ngcongca is a wanted man in Belgium, not by the authorities, but by newly promoted Cercle Brugge.
The interest in the Sundowns defender proves just how well regarded the former Bafana Bafana defender still
is in Belgium, where
he made his name with Genk.
In fact, the defender is a legend in Belgium, with Genk inviting him to an appreciation ceremony.
“Yes, there is an offer that I still have not looked at. I am focused on winning the league, something that I came home for and when that is done, I will interrogate just what is in this offer.
“I got a call from Cercle and they told me about their project for me, Belgium is my second home. I miss it. I don’t know what will happen, but what I know is that I miss Belgium,” Ngcongca said.
This is an incredible turn of events considering Ngcongca is 30 years old, has been plagued by injuries in his two seasons at Sundowns, with the 90 minutes he played against Bidvest Wits on Saturday night his first in about two years.
But that has not stopped Cercle, who are coached by Frank Vercauteren, a former coach of Ngcongca at Genk between 2009 and 2011, where they won the Belgian Juliper League and participated together in the 2012 Uefa Champions League.
Now looking for experienced players who can help Cercle in their first season in the top league since their three-year stay in the second division, Vercauteren is looking at Ngcongca as someone who can provide steel to his youthful team, made up mainly by loan players from AS Monaco.
The club, that campaigns in the French League 1, is the majority shareholder at Cercle and could also prove to be of service to Ngcongca to improve his network should he wish to contribute in sending players to Europe in the manner that Benni
McCarthy does. “The Cercle coach called to find out how many years I have left with Sundowns. He is really serious about signing me and with help from Monaco, it is wise that I listen to them.
“I think I can give them two or three good seasons.
“But obviously that will depend on how we talk at Sundowns and if Cercle will want to pay up,” Ngcongca said.
“I will not lie. I am happy here at Sundowns with coach Pitso Mosimane and the great players we have.
“I have a chance to win the league, something my late brother wanted to do and there is also a cup.
“But even at my age, Europe is still the place to be. I am used to everything in Belgium and I am celebrated there. If the offer is good enough, we will have to sit down and talk.”
Should the move happen, it would be providing a major plot twist to Ngcongca’s career in South Africa, where he was forced to return following the death of his brother and with his mother being in and out of hospital.
It was Ngcongca’s row with the former coach at Genk, who the player accused of racially abusing him, that made it easy for him to return home, with Sundowns signing him.
When Mosimane acted to secure Ngcongca’s signature, he beat off competition from Kaizer Chiefs, killing off all of his brother’s dreams that Ngcongca would win the PSL with his beloved Chiefs.
Meanwhile, the defender will be looking to help Sundowns get closer to the title tonight at Loftus Versfeld when they host Golden Arrows.
Sundowns are top of the log with 52 points with Pirates right behind them on 49, though the Buccaneers have played a game more than the Brazilians.
HOT PROPERTY: Mamelodi Sundowns defender Anele Ngcongca.