Sifiso Hlanti of South Africa during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals in Egypt. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Bafana Bafana and Bidvest Wits star defender, Sifiso Hlanti has not given up on his dream of plying his trade overseas.

Hlanti was exceptional for South Africa at the recent Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt. His best performance was against the hosts in the Last 16 where he kept the reigning African Footballer of the Year, Mohamed Salah, quiet for the whole game.

The Newcastle-born defender attracted interest from clubs abroad after his impressive exploits for Bafana at the biennial, continental showpiece.

Speaking with the media at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg where they were bundled out of the Telkom Knockout by Maritzburg United on penalties, Hlanti opened up about his failed overseas move.

“I won’t say much regarding my overseas offer. I was hoping that I will move overseas. Wits had a chat with the team from that side. I was waiting from them in terms of confirming everything. I can’t say much because, after all, I’m still contracted to Bidvest Wits,” Hlanti explained.

Teams from Major League Soccer in America were reportedly interested in Hlanti but the move did not materialise.

Hlanti is still optimistic about fulfilling his dream of campaigning with the best players in the world abroad.

“It will be an honour for me to play overseas. For every player who plays here in the Premier Soccer League, it is something that we desire to see happening at all cost,” he added.

Sifiso Hlanti in action against Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech at Afcon. Photo: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

The left-back made his long-awaited return to football on Friday after being sidelined by injury.

“I’m excited that I’ve recovered. I’ve been out of the game for a long time. I was out for two months. The team was there for me. I’m happy to be back again,” Hlanti stated.

Due to his consistency, Hlanti has now became an important member in the Bafana set-up and was sorely missed last week when the national team took on Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Port Elizabeth.

But he knows he will not simply walk back into the squad.

“I don’t want to put pressure on myself. You always have to grab every opportunity that comes your way with both hands. I will wait for my chance to come. If it happens that I go back in to the national team I’ll really appreciate that.”



The Mercury

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