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Thembi Kgatlana joins Portuguese giants SL Benfica

The player arrives from Chinese outfit Beijing BG Phoenix, having also played for American team Houston Dash, UWC Ladies and Cape Town Roses.

Thembi Kgatlana with SL Benfica vice-president Fernando Tavares. Picture: www.slbenfica.pt

JOHANNESBURG - Thembi Kgatlana's career has reached new heights after confirmation that she has joined Portuguese side SL Benfica.

The Banyana Banyana international arrives from Chinese outfit Beijing BG Phoenix, having also played for American team Houston Dash, UWC Ladies and Cape Town Roses.

In a statement on the club's website, it said Kgatlana was "the latest addition to the women's football team at Benfica," adding that she leaves China "to wear the Sacred Cloak in the 2019/20 season".

Speaking on her move, the 23-year-old told Benfica TV: "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".

She also posted on social media, saying: "These are all the moments we dream about when we grow up. Pleased to announce that I will be joining @slbenfica @slbenficafeminino. Here is to new opportunities and possibilities".

Benfica vice-president Fernando Tavares said that expectations were “high” in relation to Kgatlana, who has been capped 18 times by South Africa and “considered the best African player in 2019”.

Kgatlana is the fourth Benfica signing of the January window, following the arrival of Júlia Spetsmark, Alana O'Neill and Mimi Asom.

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