Official: Banyana Banyana star Thembi Kgatlana joins Portuguese giants Benfica

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Banyana Banyana star Thembi Kgatlana has taken her first step to Europe with a major transfer to Portuguese side Benfica.

Kgatlana, 23, joins the Campeonato Nacional Feminino side for the 2020 season after stints in USA with Houston Dash and Beijing BG Phoenix in China over the past two years.

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It marks another milestone in the incredible rise for the 2018 CAF African Women's Player of the Year who plied her trade for the University of the Western Cape before her first move abroad.

"I'm very excited to sign with Benfica. I thank the team, the President, and everyone for giving me the opportunity to come to Portugal and Benfica" Kgatlana told the club's official website.

"Benfica is a big club in Portugal and in the world. I've had the opportunity to see history and records, and it's a great honour for me to be part of such a big club."

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The club's vice-president, Fernando Tavares waxed lyrical about their latest addition ahead of their first season in the top-flight for the team that was formed in 2017.

"We have high expectations for Thembi. She was considered the best African of the Year in 2018, is a player with very strong characteristics, is very fast, can perform two positions on the field, as a striker or as a winger.

"With this signing, we will add other solutions to Benfica’s offensive line, with respect to our season goals."

With several major international players, Benfica romped to the second-tier title with 18 wins and two draws, scoring a staggering 365 goals in just 20 games.