JOHANNESBURG – Having introduced himself to the PSL masses by inspiring Mamelodi Sundowns to African dominance from 2015 to 2017, Leonardo Castro admits that the first chapter of the legacy he wants to rewrite at Kaizer Chiefs has yet to take shape.
Three seasons ago Castro left the comfort of his South American home in Colombia, embarking on his first African journey where he joined Sundowns from Bolivian outfit Club Universitario de Sucre.
The Bogota-born footballer made a seamless adaptation at the Brazilians, inspiring the club to African glory, the Super Cup, their seventh Premiership title and third Telkom Knockout title.
Early last year, he left the Brazilians to join bitter-rivals Chiefs but after almost 18-months at Naturena, the grass hasn’t been as green as it was at Chloorkop.
“I am not happy yet,” Castro said about his contribution to Chiefs so far. “I came here to write my history, but I still owe my part - I think that’s still going to come.”
A striker’s contribution per season is judged from the number of goals and assists he makes for his team.
In the one-and-half season that Castro has been with Chiefs, his returns haven’t been bad, especially this season - playing 27 matches in all competitions, scoring seven times, with six assists.
However, he plays for team that has demanding supporters, and who are used to being spoilt by at least one trophy per season. But the club’s cabinet has gathered dust for the past three seasons and left its discerning supporters questioning the players’ dedication on match-day.
Chiefs realistically have an opportunity to end their three-year trophy drought through the Nedbank Cup, as they are in the semi-finals.
However, they are also mathematically in the title race, and that’s why they’ll need to take home all three points against relegation-threatened Baroka FC at FNB Stadium tomorrow night.@Mihlalibaleka