Absa Premiership

Castro 'felt at home' when making Chiefs debut

2018-01-24 13:32
Leonardo Castro (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - New Kaizer Chiefs arrival Leonardo Castro says he was inspired to score by the reception he received from the Amakhosi faithful when making his debut last weekend.

Castro, who was signed from Mamelodi Sundowns in the finals days of 2017, made his debut on Sunday in spectacular style when he came off the bench to net the winner in a 2-1 victory over Baroka.

Even though it was an away game at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, the Glamour Boys supporters turned up in their usual large numbers and gave the Colombian a very warm welcome.

"I was already excited to make my debut and the chanting (of his name) made it even more special. I could really feel it and it was so motivating. From that moment I knew that I would score," he told the club's website.

"I was happy, especially as we were one-man down at the time. I told the others after coming on to just focus. Luckily it all worked out nicely, as we needed those three points.

"In South America, including Colombia, most stadiums are always full. So, when I saw all those Kaizer Chiefs supporters I felt at home. It was wonderful. To see all the supporters coming out to be behind the team that's so encouraging for the players.

"The facilities are fantastic and the people are also very nice. There is a great family atmosphere at the Village, which is good to see. I feel right at home.

"It's the biggest club in South African soccer. And this emblem (he touches the Kaizer Chiefs logo with his hand) has to be the number one - we want to be the champion!

"I want to score goals and to make history - I want my name to become part of the club's rich history. I also want to achieve with Chiefs internationally, including winning the CAF Champions League."

Castro went on to reveal his role model, former Arsenal and Barcelona marksman Thierry Henry.

"He made his team play," he explained. "I copied some things of the way Henry finished and always looked what he did in certain game situations. An example is my goal against Baroka FC – I received the ball and finished. Those are some of the aspects I learnt while watching Henry play."

In terms of the training ground, the Colombian believes that there is no substitute for hard work.

"I try to always do something extra," he said. "For example, on the Tuesday after the Baroka FC match, we only had a gym session. 

"However, I still went with 'Shabba' (Siphiwe Tshabalala), Gustavo Paez and Ryan Moon to the pitch to practice on crossing and finishing. Life is simple; you get out what you put in."

Castro could now be set to face his former club when Chiefs host Sundowns at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night. 

Kick-off is at 20:15.

Read more on:    kaizer chiefs  |  psl  |  leonardo castro  |  soccer
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