Malawi women’s national football team captain, Tabitha Chawinga, has said she plans to return to Europe and finish her playing career there.
Chawinga joined Jiangsu Sunning of China on a two-year deal in 2017 from Swedish side Kvarnvederns IK.
She is expected to be at Sunning until next year after extending her contract towards the end of last season.
While she remains committed to her Chinese side, Chawinga said she would return to Europe one day where she started her glittering career.
“I enjoy playing for Sunning and I am happy here. But it is my dream to return to Europe one day. For now, I do not know when I will play in Europe again but I hope it will happen,” the deadly forward said.
The former DD Sunshine striker has been on the radar of French League One giants Olympic Lyon and PSG in recent years.
Sunning recently turned down a six-month loan request from Lyon for the Scorchers captain.
Football remains suspended in China due to the Covid-19 pandemic but Chawinga was optimistic that the game would resume.
“We are still keeping fit ahead of resumption of the season in July or August. We hope to continue from where we left off last season and achieve our goal of successfully defending the league title,” she said.
Chawinga helped Sunning to win the treble in China last season. Sunning won the Chinese Women’s Football Super League, Chinese FA and Super Cup.
DD Sunshine coach, Andrew Chikhosi, said Chawinga’s wishes are not surprising as every player longs to play in Europe.
“Tabitha is a player with a great attitude. She works hard and deserves to continue playing in Europe. This is a striker with all the qualities to play at top level for many years,” Chikhosi, who trained Chawinga at Sunshine before her European move, said.
The Rumphi-born icon scored 12 goals in the Chinese Women’s Super League to win the Golden Boot Award.
Her goal scoring exploits continued in the Chinese Women’s FA Cup where she netted 15 goals and nine in the Super Cup.
Tabitha became the first Malawian player to sign for a European team when she clinched a deal with Krokom/ Dvarssatts before joining Kvarnvederns IK.
She was later joined by her younger sister Temwa who also moved to China.