Thembi Kgatlana: Banyana Banyana star signs for Atletico Madrid

The 25-year-old forward has changed clubs in Spain and will now turn out for the European giants

Banyana Banyama international Thembi Kgatlana has changed clubs in Spain by signing for Atletico Madrid.

The 25-year-old, who impressed last season while turning out for SD Eibar, has now been unveiled as an Atletico player, with a contract that runs up to 2023.

“Thembi Kgatlana [May 2, 1995, South Africa] is a new Atletico Madrid player [with a contract] until 2023,” the club confirmed on their official website.

“The South African player, international for her country, arrives to reinforce the Rojiblanco attack.

“The 25-year-old South African is one of the most promising players of South African football, being named best African player in 2018.”

The statement continued: “Trained at the University of the Western Cape, in 2018 she traveled to the United States to join the ranks of Houston Dash, a team in which she stayed at for a season until signing for Beijing BG Phoenix and later for Benfica.

“In 2020 she made the leap to the Spanish league by joining the SD Eibar squad, the team from which she comes.”

Speaking after sealing the transfer, Kgatlana said: “I am very happy to arrive at Atletico Madrid. As a footballer, you always dream of playing for the best clubs.

“My first goal is to be a team player and to work hard for the team. I am very happy to be able to join you soon, I can’t wait to meet you all.”

Kgatlana signed from SL Benfica in the summer of 2020, after a season in the Chinese Women’s Super League, where she netted nine times for Beijing Phoenix before moving to Portugal. 

Although the Banyana Banyana star failed to win silverware in her season in the Chinese capital, her individual contributions helped Beijing to a mid-table finish in 2019.

Since her move to Spain, the South African has proven herself to be a prolific goalscorer despite turning out for a lowly-rated Eibar, and last season she managed to score 10 goals in 21 matches in the Primera Division.

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