Orlando Pirates defender Sandile Mthethwa has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to play for Portuguese Primeira Liga club CS Maritimo.
The towerfing center back attracted interest from both Pirates and Maritimo, while he was still on the books of KwaZulu-Natal Academy in 2015.
However, Mthethwa thought that he should stay in his home country and focus on improving his game.
"Everything was ready and I was about to go and sign having made a verbal agreement with the team and my representatives," Mthethwa told Phakaaathi.
"But the Pirates offer came along and I have always wanted to play for one of the big South African teams. So, I close to stay and play for Pirates," he continued.
"I spoke with my family and the people close to me and we all agreed that staying in the country was the best option for me back then," Mthethwa disclosed.
The 20-year-old player has featured regularly for the Bucs reserve team in the Multichoice Diski Challenge (MDC) this season.
"So, I don't regret anything and I know that I will make it one day. Another thing that made me decide was that I was still young and thought I still needed to grow as a player," he added.
"I did not want to go there and just be part of the team. I wanted to make a name for myself. My chance to go to Europe will come soon," he concluded.
Mthethwa is currently part of the South Africa Under-20 squad preparing for the 2017 Fifa U20 World Cup finals in South Korea.