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Lebogang Phiri: Caykur Rizespor sign ex-Guingamp and Bafana Bafana star

13:33 BST 18/07/2021
Lebogang Phiri joins Caykur Rizespor. Courtesy Caykur Rizespor.
The midfielder has signed for the top-tier side after the expiration of his contract with the French Ligue Two outfit

Turkish Super League side Caykur Rizespor have signed South African international Lebogang Phiri on a three-year deal.

The 26-year-old midfielder moved to the Super League outfit after the expiration of his contract with Ligue Two side Guingamp at the end of June. The Turkish side confirmed the arrival of the Bafana Bafana star on Sunday in a ceremony that vice-president Selim Selimoglu attended.

"Caykur Rizespor have signed Lebogang Phiri for three years," the Rize club announced .

Phiri, who spent last season with Guingamp, one of the French Second Division teams, started his football career with Bidvest Wits in South Africa. He transferred to Brondby IF, a Danish team, in 2013 and the 26-year-old has been in France since 2017.

"Caykur Rizespor welcome Lebogang Phiri to our club and wish him success. It is announced with respect to our community and the public."

The Bafana Bafana man was with Guingamp for five seasons, where he played in 78 games after he joined them from Brondby in July 2017. The side was relegated in the 2018/19 campaign, but Phiri chose to stick with the French club and served as captain for two years.

Phiri, at one point, had to endure a long-term knee injury as the club struggled on the pitch in the second-tier before he made a return in April. Trabzonspor of Turkey and RC Strasbourg of France had been rumoured to be interested in the midfielder.

Caykur Rizespor first featured in the Super League in 1979 and remained there until they were relegated in 1981. They returned in 1985 and spent five years in the top-tier until 1989. They had to endure time outside the Super League for many years, as they were promoted in 2000 again and maintained their status until 2002.

They did not spend a long period in the lower league since they returned in 2003 and were part of the top league fraternity until 2008. After the 2008 relegation, Caykur Rizespor were promoted again in 2013 and have remained there up to now.