Dino Ndlovu spent three and a half years in China, tearing the league’s charts up as he became Greentown Zhejiang’s all-time leading goalscorer, however, it was all fun and games as the poacher considers it the biggest challenge of his career.
Despite having six months left on his contract with Zhejiang and keen to extend his stay with the club, the Klerksdorp-born striker shocked the football fraternity when he announced that he was leaving the Chinese second division outfit.
Covid-19 restrictions made it difficult for the 31-year-old to return to China and being out of the game for six months, Ndlovu had no choice but to amicably part ways with the club.
He has since joined Turkish second division outfit, Kocaelispor.
In an exclusive interview with Soccer Laduma edition 1232, Ndlovu opens up on the challenges he faced in China, revealing that any other South African player would have quit in six months.
“For me, being at the club was the biggest challenge in my entire career because you have a lot of challenges. In other European countries, you are allowed a certain number of foreigners and only a few can play. In China, especially in the second league, it was so difficult because they expect you to do so much, but I was proud of myself because I could do much with what I was given at the club.
“When I arrived in China, the club was allowed to sign three foreigners and play with two. So, if as a team you have average or regular Chinese players, your team will always struggle, which was the case in the first season. But we had a good coach and credit to him, he improved a lot of players that we had at our disposal at the time.
“It became so difficult for me because you are away from your family, you are in a country where they are ignorant to speak English. Those are the hurdles and the challenges that I overcame and that’s why I say I’m proud of myself. I can take one or two South African players to go and play in China and in six months’ time, they will want to come back home. I give myself a pat on the back because the obstacles that I faced in Azerbaijan and Cyprus were not as demanding as the challenges that I faced in China,” he concluded.
Ndlovu also opens up on:
- Why he did not want to betray Qarabag.
- Making a move to Turkey.
- And the real reason he left China.
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