RAINFORD Kalaba says he wants to win the CAF African-based player award and return to play professional football in Europe.
The influential Chipolopolo captain is on the final CAF shortlist, which also includes Uganda’s shot stopper Dennis Onyango and Zimbabwe’s Kharma Billiat, both of South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
The TP Mazembe star-man put in sterling performances this season, helping the Lubumbashi-based club to CAF Confederation Cup triumph and winning the competition’s golden boot after scoring eight goals.
The winner will be announced next week at the GLO-CAF awards gala in Abuja, Nigeria.
“I am very happy to have been nominated and I believe this is my time to win it,” Kalaba, who has been the nucleus of Zambia’s midfield in the ongoing World Cup qualifiers, said.
“It will be very important for me to win it because it will give me more motivation to do even better in my career. My aim is to go back to Europe. I have been there already, and I have learnt how life is over there. So if I win this award, it would make me more marketable and help me go back to Europe because that is my dream.”
He said he hoped to continue doing his best as national team captain and that winning the CAF award would also be good for Zambia.
“I also hope to continue doing well as national team captain and it will not only help me as a player, but it will be good for the country to win this award,” said Kalaba.