Bafana Bafana midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi has reached a respectable milestone for Crystal Palace. Last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea was the South African’s 100th game for the Premier League club in all competitions.
Unfortunately he had to be subbed off in the 26th minute with a slight injury.
KG, as he is affectionately known, made his Bafana debut in 2007, and has since earned 54 caps, scoring twice. He played at the 2008 and 2013 AFCON tournaments, and at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The 29-year-old started his career with local club Cardiff Spurs. He later moved on to Bloemfontein Young Tigers before joining Golden Arrows in 2005. By the time few South Africans knew the holding midfielder from the lower league.
Dikgacoi played for four years at Arrows and developed into one of South Africa’s best holding midfielders. Subsequently he was rewarded the captain’s armband at his club and called up for Bafana.
In August 2009, Dikgacoi joined English Premier League side Fulham after a successful trial at the club. Luckily he was granted a work permit and joined Fulham in the age of 25.
He made his first team debut on October 4 in 2009, but was sent off in the 41st minute for slapping Scott Parker. His two years at Fulham didn’t go as planned and after just one appearance under Mark Hughes in the 2010/11 season, Dikgacoi agreed a loan deal to Championship side Crystal Palace in February 2011.
After 13 appearances and one goal for Palace, the loan deal turned into a permanent move when he joined the Eagles for a fee of £600 000 at the end of the season.
In his first full season for Palace, KG played in 27 league games and four League Cup matches. But his most successful season was to be the 2012/13 campaign where he played 39 Championship games and one League Cup match, scored four goals and assisted three in Palace’s promotion campaign.
After a successful 2012/13 campaign, KG featured in three Championship Play-Offs to help Palace gain promotion to the English Premier League.
The start into the 2013/14 season has not been easy for both the player and his club. The Eagles are currently in 18th spot and in the middle of the relegation battle. Dikgacoi has already played 13 games, despite receiving a dubious red card after a foul on Ashley Young in Palace’ 2-0 loss at Old Trafford.
However, he found his way back into the team and they have collected 10 points out of their last six games. New manager Tony Pulis has replaced Ian Holloway and Dikgacoi celebrated his 100th game for the club on Saturday.
His fine displays have not been missed by other clubs and he has been rumoured to be a transfer target for teams like West Brom, Hull City and even Bayer Leverkusen in Germany.
Soccer-Laduma would like congratulate the South African for his brilliant milestone and wishes him all the best in his future. We hope KG will stay in one of Europe’s top leagues and fly the South African flag high.