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Banyana Banyana striker joins Portuguese club SL Benfica



After an amazing season with Beijing Phoenix last year, the forward has sealed a move to the Portuguese outfit

Thembi Kgatlana has joined Portuguese Liga BPI outfit SL Benfica from Chinese club Beijing Phoenix, for the rest of the 2020 season.

Kgatlana parted ways with Beijing in January 2020 and moved on to Portugal on a free transfer, after she inspired the Chinese women’s top-flight club to a fifth-place finish in the 2019 season with 11 goals in all competitions.

The 23-year-old, who moved from National Women’s Super League side Houston Dash to China last year, played a starring role for South Africa at their maiden Women’s World Cup outing last year.

In France, she featured in all three matches for Banyana Banyana and scored their maiden Women’s World Cup goal.

After wrapping up her move to Europe, Kgatlana who was named the 2018 African Women’s Player of the Year said: “I am very excited to sign for Benfica.

“I thank the team, the President, and everyone for giving me the opportunity to come to Portugal and Benfica.

“Benfica is a great club in Portugal and in the world. I have already had the opportunity to see history and records, and it is a great honour for me to be part of such a great club.

“I am 23 years old, I come from South Africa, I play for the national team and now also for Benfica. I have 15 years of football, divided by the youth and senior classes.”

Following her unveiling by the club’s vice president Fernando Tavares on Monday, the South Africa international becomes the third January signing for Benfica after Daniela Aeria Santos and Ida Dida, and she will wear the shirt number 11.

Benfica are leaders of the Portuguese Liga BPI log with 39 points after 13 games and Kgatlana will be hoping to make her league debut against Estoril Praia on February 9, 2020.

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