JOHANNESBURG – Percy Tau has his sights on Spain as the ultimate destination of his European stint that should start in the coming months with his agent confirming that the 24-year-old’s overseas move is 95 percent likely to happen.
The Mamelodi Sundowns star will embark on that sojourn as the king of South African football after he scooped three awards at the Premier Soccer League prize-giving ceremony at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday night.
Tau was named Footballer of the Season and Absa Premiership Players' Player of the Season and also bagged the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot he shared with Rodney Ramagalela as the pair finished the season tied on 11 goals.
French club Monaco and two English teams are among the suitors after Tau’s signature.
“At some point, I believe that playing in Spain will be nice,” Tau said. “That’s where Real Madrid are playing and they won the (Uefa) Champions League three times in a row. You don’t find that anywhere. It’s rare.
“It’s always nice to challenge yourself against the best. France would be a great step for me because it’s outside South Africa. I would get to play against PSG (Paris Saint-Germain). It would be interesting. The next step in my life will be interesting, if it happens. If it doesn’t happen then I have to work on what I have.”
Tau’s future, however, is at the back of his mind at the moment. His immediate attention is on the exams he is writing. Yesterday he wrote Financial Management, one of the subjects in his studies towards a degree in marketing.
Tau became the best player in the country this season, doing extra training while also juggling his studies, which saw him travel with his books on the trips Sundowns made all over the country and to certain parts of the continent during the Caf Champions League.
That balancing act is nothing new to him. As a youngster he had to balance football and church, with his mother insisting that church must come before football. She wasn’t afraid to tell his coaches when Tau’s attention tipped more to football.
Tau’s mother was a proud parent at the PSL awards, struggling to even put her excitement into words, but now she insists that school must come before football.
“That makes me emotional because I was only raised by my mother,” Tau said. “She’s very happy, you can see her. She’s so proud even though she doesn’t like football that much. She cares more about my education than football.”
Tau has three more exams to write before going on a well deserved break. He will travel to Russia during that break to watch the World Cup and “experience what I missed” after Bafana Bafana failed to qualify for the tournament.
SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan challenged Tau, just before handing him the Footballer of the Season award, to lead Bafana to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“Now that I have won these awards, I must go back and do extra training for two or three hours so that I am better than the player I was this season,” Tau said.
“I want to be more consistent. I am looking for more success because it doesn’t stop here. It keeps on going and I have to keep on growing. If I am more consistent, that means I will score more, create more... There are finer details in my game that I can improve on.
“Hopefully with time I can say that I am a complete player.”