Mothiba dreams of England move
Bafana Bafana striker Lebogang Mothiba has set his sights on a move to bigger leagues in Europe.
In France for almost five years, the 22year-old now turns out for Ligue 1 side Racing Strasbourg following his departure from Lille at the end of August.
Mothiba told Sunday World this week while in national team camp that he was even considering taking up a French passport to aid his chances of moving to England. Since SA is ranked 73rd in world football, it has become difficult for SA players to obtain a UK work permit.
Bafana striker Percy Tau was signed by Brighton Hove & Albion, but has had to move to Belgian second division side, Saint-Gilloise, on loan. For countries ranked in the top 50, obtaining a work permit is a easier process.
Last year, Bafana midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo obtained Dutch citizenship, which helped facilitate his move to English championship outfit, Brentford. He remains eligible to play for SA.
“Yeah, it has crossed my mind [applying for the French passport]. I’ve been there for almost five years,” Mothiba said. “You can go to the Premier League easily and that’s everyone’s dream to play in [the EPL].”
For now, though, the Tembisa-born marksman wants to continue establishing himself at Strasbourg, for whom he’s already scored four goals in six appearances this season.
“I was enjoying myself at Lille, because of the coaches and everyone.
“They used to work specifically on me in terms of what kind of runs to make and positioning myself.
“Every goal I score now is a tapin, because I’m always at the right positions,” said Mothiba, who cut his teeth playing for his father’s amateur team Mighty Bucks before joining Mamelodi Sundowns’ youth academy at the age of 11. He went on to feature for Kempton Park FC and the Diambars academy from where he moved to Europe in 2014.
“French football is different to the PSL; there the ball goes forward and it’s very aggressive.
“It’s good for us as South Africans going there to learn and because we are so technical, putting that together with their style of play you’d be a great player,” he concluded.
Lebogang Mothiba in French Ligue 1 action.