Moth­iba dreams of Eng­land move

Sunday World - - Sport - By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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.

/Elyxan­dro Ce­garra/ NurPhoto via Getty Im­ages

Le­bo­gang Moth­iba in French Ligue 1 ac­tion.

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