THE GROWTH and form of Fagrie Lakay augurs well for Bafana Bafana and his club Pyramids, who are eyeing the big scalp of Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday afternoon.
The CAF Champions League is rightfully regarded as the elite club competition in Africa, with only the finest clubs from the continent competing for the crown.
Pyramids find themselves in the mix this season, thanks to their second-place finish in their domestic Egyptian Premiership last season.
And while that augured well for the Egyptians, South Africa’s very own Lakay found himself competing against the best players in the land, having the team qualify for the group stage.
The 26-year-old has grabbed the bull by the horns, becoming the first player to score the first goal of the tournament group stage as they beat TP Mazembe 1-0.
To date, the Capetonian has scored 22 goals in 85 matches for the club, producing six assists. It’s been a move that has seen Lakay tick off a few items from his bucket list.
Fagrie Lakay's goal pic.twitter.com/j7xzTf7WYY
— SA Football Players Abroad 🇿🇦 (@SaFootbalAbroad) December 27, 2022
“It’s been a good move for me. As a player from South Africa, my goal has always been to play outside the country,” said Lakay, who joined the club in January last year.
“It’s good for any player to go outside and test your quality. If you want to test yourself, you have to play with the best, and I think Egypt is a good league with good players and good competition.”
Pyramids have taken the competition they play in up a notch this season, qualifying for the Champions League, having played in the Confederation Cup before.
And this is in line with the vision of founder Turki Al-Sheikh, who wants to unsettle Al Ahly after he was removed as an honorary president of the Red Devils following a public spat.
“Now that we have qualified for the Champions League, it’s good not only for me but also the team and a good challenge to test ourselves,” Lakay said.
“For me, the move has been good. I have improved every season since I came here. I am happy as a player. I am happy to be at Pyramids. I can only get better from here.”
Lakay is not the only South African who is playing outside the country in the Champions League, with Percy Tau at Ahly and Mahlatse Makudubela at Young Africans.
Lakay feels the exportation of South Africans to elite clubs in Africa augurs well for Bafana, who are vying for an impressive campaign in the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ivory Coast in January.