29 July 2012

Zimbabwe/South Africa: Billiat Ready for Europe

Zimbabwe Warriors and Ajax Cape Town tear-away winger, Khama Billiat has re-affirmed his readiness for a big European move. Billiat, who dazzled the Manchester United defence in a pre-season match in Cape Town last weekend, is said to have attracted interest from England, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium.

While the 21-year-old declined to talk about his possible destination, he feels his talents deserve a grander stage as he is about to kick-off his third season in the South African premiership.

"I am always ready to go to Europe. I will never give up on this dream, even if it takes long to come. What I can only say at the moment is that I prefer the Spanish or French league," Billiat said.

"Earlier this year when I trained with Ajax Amsterdam, I realised that I am ready for Europe. Football is the same everywhere. The coaches at Ajax gave me the chance to express myself but put much emphasis on not losing possession unnecessarily."

Billiat's manager, Edzai Kasinauyo could not disclose the player's suitors but was confident the player was geared for any challenge.

"Khama has the talent to play in Europe any day, so this is the right time for him to go. If Knowledge (Musona) can play in Germany, then Khama can do the same. He needs to leave for Europe while still young before his sell by date expires," Kasinauyo said.

Surprisingly, Billiat's compatriot and assistant coach at Ajax Wilfred Mugeyi, believes the player is not yet ripe for an overseas move.

"He is a key factor in the team with great technical ability. He is quick, aggressive and very confident on the ball. He has a good eye for goal and can play in any attacking position," said Mugeyi.

"But in my opinion, he still needs another year or two in the Premier Soccer League to gain more experience before he goes to Europe. Sending the boy to Europe now will destroy him since he still has to work on his game."

Last Saturday's scintillating show in the one-all draw with Manchester United saw Billiat being crowned man-of-the-match. His list of admirers on that afternoon grew to include United's battle-hardened defence stalwart Rio Ferdinand.

"It felt great hearing a world star like Rio praising me. It was hard coming up against him and the rest of his teammates but as a player you always try to motivate yourself," Billiat said.

"Manchester United are one of the best teams in the world and playing against them is a great experience. We managed to match them for the better part of the game but our differences were exposed by the way they raised their game after we had scored. They are tactically organised than us."

In a match of such magnitude, most players would have been fighting to catch the eyes of Sir Alex Ferguson or at least European scouts who were part of the watching world, but Billiat says he was not under pressure to impress anyone.

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