The latest signing of the women's football team of Benfica. Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana, a 23-year-old winger (02.05.1996), leaves China to wear the Sacred Mantle in the 2019/20 season.
"I'm very excited to sign with Benfica. I thank the team, the President, and everyone for giving me the opportunity to come to Portugal and Benfica", thanked Thembi Kgatlana, in her first words with BTV, she who was considered the best athlete of the year in South Africa in 2019, ahead of the athletics star Caster Semenya.
"Benfica is a big club in Portugal and in the world. I've had the opportunity to see history and records, and it's a great honor for me to be part of such a big club", she confessed.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana represented the clubs UWC Ladies and Cape Town Roses, in her home country, then heading to the United States of America where she had a spell at Houston Dash. This was followed by an experience in China, with the colors of Beijing BG Phoenix, in 2019.
"I'm 23, I come from South Africa, I play for the national team and now also for Benfica. I have a record of 15 years of football, divided by the junior ranks and the senior ranks", the young winger introduced herself.
With 18 caps with South Africa national team, Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana was at the last World Cup, in France. She played all three matches [Spain, China, and Germany], and scored the sole goal of the South-Africans.
Already with the new jersey, she made a point of leaving a message to the Benfica fans.
"I thank the fans for the support they've been giving. We are in first place in the Championship and I ask that they continue to support so that at the end of the season we can lift the trophy", she finished.
"Very high expectations"
Vice-president of Benfica, Fernando Tavares highlighted the skills of the new red player.
"We have high expectations on Thembi. She was considered the best African of the Year in 2019, is a player with very strong characteristics, is very fast, can perform two positions on the field, as a striker or as a winger. With this signing we will add other solutions to Benfica’s offensive line, with respect to our season goals", explained Fernando Tavares.
Text: Filipa Fernandes Garcia
Pics: Cátia Luís / SL Benfica