Europe beckons Billiat but he’s not jumping yet

Sundowns is home and he will only leave for the right reason

Zimbabwe forward Khama Billiat is increasingly linked with a move away from South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
Zimbabwe forward Khama Billiat is increasingly linked with a move away from South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Khama Billiat will only move to Europe if it is to a club that he feels fits his needs in having ambition‚ and that is in an acceptable league‚ Mamelodi Sundowns’ little Zimbabwean forward star has said.

Breaking his silence on where his next move might be to‚ if at all‚ when his contract ends at the end of this month‚ Billiat hinted that he had not yet had concrete offers from overseas‚ and that if he stayed in South Africa‚ it seemed likely to be at Sundowns.

The player and Sundowns have indicated he would not renew his contract‚ but at 27 Billiat is running out of time for a move to Europe.

“Obviously for every player it’s a dream to play overseas.

“But maybe it’s different with me‚” Billiat said in Polokwane‚ where he is part of Zimbabwe’s squad at the Cosafa Cup.

“I want to play overseas for the right reason. I don’t want to be there because I’m getting old.

“I want to be there because I deserve to be there.

“I want to be there because my talent allows me to be there.

“And I want to be there to go to certain clubs and certain countries that I believe I want to be in, not just be there because it’s Europe‚ and not be happy and the next thing I’m back.”

Asked whether he had had concrete offers‚ Billiat said: “My manager [Mike Ngobeni] said there are a few‚ but he didn’t want to tell me about them.

“He wanted me to be here‚ with the national team and focus.”

Five years ago Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane converted Billiat from the young‚ inconsistent forward with potential who had signed from Ajax Cape Town, into a Premier Soccer League Footballer of the Season and Caf Champions League winner.
Mosimane has made it clear that he would like the Zimbabwean to stay at Chloorkop.

“I don’t want to lose my coach – he’s a great coach‚” Billiat said.

“He’s brought me to where I am today.

“I haven’t spoken to him for a while now‚ since I’ve been here [at Cosafa]. “But he’s my coach‚ man.” Asked whether his stance meant that‚ should the right European offer not come‚ that would be his choice‚ Billiat said: “My coach always says that‚ and even my president – that if there’s a better team in Europe‚ they support that [move].

“They have a few players who left them [for] Europe – my club had always allowed that.”

Would it make sense to go to another PSL club if he does end up staying in South Africa‚ and move from the one where he has won everything? “I don’t know man‚” he grinned. “I don’t know – you tell me. “I’m a player at the end of the day. Anything can happen – all I want is to just play football.

“Anywhere they play football‚ I want to be there.”

Asked what kind of environment he wanted to be in, Billiat said: “Mamelodi Sundowns.

“That environment like that‚ which is hungry to win cups and play with purpose. “I enjoy celebrating at the end. “At Sundowns it’s actually that you don’t know how to take the loss. It doesn’t sit well with us.

“It’s just been great and that’s the great feeling that I always want to have.”

Did that mean he would like to remain at Sundowns beyond this month?

“Ah‚ I don’t know. I still have to go back to my manager and see what the best is for Khama.” – TimesLIVE