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Cele: Ex-South Africa U23 star on why he rejected Kaizer Chiefs and stayed put at Radomiak Radom

21:35 GMT+3 09/12/2022
Thabo Cele, RKS Radomiak, October 2021
South African midfielder Thabo Cele has broken his silence on what transpired between him and Kaizer Chiefs.
  • Cele was tipped to return home and join Amakhosi
  • Midfielder admitted he was close to signing for Soweto giants
  • Cele extended his Radom deal to June 2024 four months ago

WHAT HAPPENED? The central midfielder attracted strong interest from Chiefs at the end of last season after he enjoyed a successful 2021-22 campaign with Radomiak Radom.
Amakhosi's interest in Cele was confirmed by his agent, but the KwaZulu-Natal Football Academy product ended up staying put at his Polish club.
Cele has now explained that he rejected Chiefs as he preferred staying in Europe and pursuing his dreams.

WHAT DID CELE SAY? "It was really close to happening, me coming back to South Africa," Cele said in a Twitter discussion hosted by Prince Sobayeni.
"But at the end of the day I had to sit with myself and think about the decision and my people. 
"It was close to happening and I had to make a decision and I decided that for me right now, as I am 25 years old now.
"I still have time to get to where I want get to, ever since I came to Europe."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Cele remains an integral part of the Radom team having made 12 appearances in Poland's top-flight league, Ekstraklasa.
The KwaMashu-born player missed out on a possible Bafana Bafana call-up last month after picking up an injury in October.
Cele, who has one Bafana cap, has never played professional football in South Africa having left the country for Portuguese side Real SC in 2016 as a 16-year-old.
He had spells with Benfica's reserve team and Cova da Piedade in Portugal before moving to Radom last year.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR CELE?: The former SA under-20 and 23 international and his Radom teammates will take on Miedz Legnica in a league game next month. The match is scheduled to be played on January 27.