Zimbabwe international Tino Kadewere became the first-ever player from his homeland to ply his trade in LaLiga at the beginning of the campaign. As the Spanish top-flight season draws to a close, we caught up with the striker to find out what his experience in the league has been like so far.
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The 27-year-old is in the midst of spending the 2022/23 campaign on loan at Mallorca from parent club Olympique Lyon, and in his debut season with Los Piratas, has helped them comfortably stave off relegation.
He has now revealed what it means for him to lead a forward line in a league where fellow African superstars such as Samuel Eto'o had been so successful.
How have you been finding the level of football in LaLiga?
Honestly, it's really amazing. It is one of the best leagues in the world and for me, I feel like it is one of the best leagues that I've played in. I feel really good, and competition here is very aggressive, it's more competitive than where I was before. So it is really competitive and I feel like the level is among the best leagues in the world.
How proud are you to compete in a league legendary African strikers such as Eto'o and Benni McCarthy previously starred in?
It is huge, to be honest. I am really proud of this. Honestly, I am also really proud because I became the first Zimbabwean player to play in LaLiga, so this was also a really great achievement for me and a great achievement for the country, and also for the whole African continent and all the African youngsters who are looking to play in these kinds of leagues. I am really proud of myself, and I am really happy to be able to play in LaLiga.
How difficult was it overcoming the injury that left you sidelined for most of the first half of the season?
It was not something I was looking forward to. It happened when I was feeling really good. Just after I came here, I was just trying to get used to the new systems and then this injury came, but it's part of football, I took it as it is. I got so much help from my teammates and staff, and everyone around me was supportive and helpful. I managed to handle it very well but it was a step back for me because when I came back there was someone new and the team had already been doing really well, so it was a difficult moment for me, but eventually I managed to handle it well and here we are.
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Do you have ambitions to continue at Mallorca next season?
Honestly, I feel really happy here, I am playing with a great group of guys. Whatever happens, I am up for it. I am ready to be here, but I am also ready to go back Lyon and start afresh.
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