Zungu: CAF Champions League trophy influenced my return to Sundowns

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Bongani Zungu of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2022 Carling Black Label Cup semifinal match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 12 November 2022 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Bongani Zungu of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2022 Carling Black Label Cup semifinal match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 12 November 2022 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Bongani Zungu has revealed one of the reasons behind his return to Mamelodi Sundowns after spending the previous seven seasons playing in Europe.

Zungu completed a sensational return to Mamelodi Sundowns at the start of the season when he was unveiled as a new signing by the reigning DStv Premiership champions following his departure from French Ligue 2 side Amiens.

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The 30-year-old had spent the previous five years in France, either side of a season-long loan in Scotland in Rangers, prior to which he also spent two seasons in Portugal with Primeira Liga side Vitória Guimarães.

His journey in Europe came to an end upon the expiration of his contract with Amiens in June, however, and he was quickly snapped up by Sundowns on a free transfer ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Speaking in the November edition of Mamelodi Sundowns Magazine, Zungu revealed that he matured a lot as a result of his experience abroad and that the prospect of winning the CAF Champions League was a major factor behind his motivation to return home.

"The lifestyle in Europe is different and it helped me in terms of maturity off the pitch. I worked with many good coaches and world class players such as Jermain Defoe. At Amiens, I played against Paris-Saint Germain and those experiences have helped in my development as a player," he said.

"...Before re-signing with Sundowns, I thought about what I wanted to achieve, and the CAF Champions League is something that influenced my decision. The fact that Sundowns is amongst the best football clubs in Africa competing to win the trophy gives me hope that I will achieve my goal."

Zungu is still returning to full fitness with Downs since his return and has been limited to just five appearances across all competitions thus far, as well as a run-out in the recent Carling Black Label Cup.

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