Disheartened Leeroy Mavunga opens up on failed move to Portugal
After showing a glittering and promising career at the age of 19, attracting international clubs, former national team winger Leeroy Mavunga is still confused about how his dream move to Portugal back in 2018 ended up falling through.
Mavunga who at the moment is plying his trade with financially struggling CAPS United ‘missed a lifetime’ opportunity to turn out for Portuguese giants Benfica FC.
He was reportedly supposed to put pen to paper with the European club in January 2018.
This was after he had initially participated in a month long trial at the club in July 2017 and was later voted as the best player.
The achievement saw him make headlines in a number of local newspapers, with reports indicating he had signed for Benfica.
However, a few months on, the dribbling wizard remained in the country and this brought confusion to the football family, whether he had signed or not.
Despite the whole confusion, Nehanda Radio caught up with Mavunga in an interview last week and the player opened up on what really transpired.
“I went to Benfica, Portugal the whole of July 2017. We were many players from different countries including Australia, Brazil, Spain and Italy. And out of about 300 players I was the only African player.
“At the end of the trials I was voted the best player then I was awarded with an accolade. After that I had a choice to stay in Portugal till January waiting for the window period to open and complete my move but another option was to come back to Zimbabwe and return to Portugal at once in January.
“Then Yadah implored me to return home since the league was still underway and they promised to send me back when the Portugal transfer window had opened. I was given all the contact details for people I would reach out to when I was about to return.
“I gave Yadah all the details and when we were approaching January I then asked the club about my pending move but they told me they had other plans to secure a deal for me somewhere else and I felt very disappointed, but thats life we only need to move on,” Mavunga narrated to Nehanda Radio.
Then fast forward to 2019 when he impressed at the COSAFA Cup in South Africa, the player also revealed that Yadah went quiet after the now defunct Bidvest Wits strongly pursued his signature.
According to the player, Yadah rejected the offer citing the fact that it was unattractive.
“During the COSAFA Cup tournament in 2019, when I got voted Man of the Match when we played for the third and fourth best team, Bidvest Wits approached the club (Yadah) with an intention to acquire me but still nothing materialised.
“I wondered what happened but I later gathered that the club had rejected the deal,” Mavunga told Nehanda Radio.