By Williams Gondwa:
On-and-off Flames attacker Robin Ngalande— a player the BBC once touted as the next Samuel Eto’o Fils after the Cameroon football legend—has signed a new two-year deal with Azerbaijan Premier League side, Zire FC, in Europe.
Ngalande has extended the contract following the expiry of his six-month deal which he signed with Zire in January 2019.
The midfielder, whose strength is magnetic ball control, flicks, and step-overs, said he was excited to have extended his contract.
“This is a good development for me as I will be focusing on the game. Instead of worrying about my future, I know that I have two more years to impress the club and others,” he said.
Ngalande said football standards in the Eastern European country were advanced.
“The league is quite competitive. They emphasise on tactics and the tempo of the game is fast,” he said.
During his initial contract, Ngalande scored some goals after his spell was affected by an ankle injury.
The former Civil Sporting Club and Masters Security FC player joined Zire after his contract ended at South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) side, Baroka.
Ngalande came into the limelight when he played for Malawi under-17 national football team at the African Youth Championship in Algeria and World Cup finals in Nigeria in 2009.
His outstanding performance caught the eye of PSL giants Mamelodi Sundowns, who signed him for their academy.
Ngalande went on to star for Atletico Madrid youth side after shining for Sundowns during a youth tournament in Spain.
But he returned to South Africa after two years to join Bidvest Wits on a two-year deal before signing for Ajax Cape Town and Platinum Stars.
Ngalande is the only Malawian footballer who plays for a top tier league in Europe but he is yet to fulfill his potential.
Other notable Malawi football exports are Jabulani Linje (Yokohama, Japan) and Yamikani Chester (North Carolina, the United States).
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