Champions League an unbelievable experience, says Maema

Neo Maema has shared his experiences of donning the famous colours of Mamelodi Sundowns in the Caf Champions League.

The exciting attacker got his first taste of continental football in Sundowns’ 2-0 win over Congolese side Maniema Union in October 2021.

“It is still an unbelievable experience with all the travelling; seeing other countries, adjusting to the different weather conditions and competing against the best,” said Maema.

 “I am grateful, and I feel I’m still learning a lot playing continental football, and it can only get better from here individually and as a team.”

The 26-year-old is part of the Sundowns squad that travelled to Angola on Wednesday to prepare for their Caf Champions League quarter-final first leg against Petro de Luanda on Saturday.

Maema has been a revelation for the Tshwane giants in his maiden season. “The most important part of football is rest,” he said upon arrival in Angola.

“We are delighted that we are scoring goals. It only means that we are getting in good positions offensively, and we’ve always known that we are capable of scoring many goals, we just had to execute, and I’m happy that [we’ve been doing that] in our past games.

“This game won’t be any different; we will work hard as a team with the support of our coaches and everyone involved at the club.” 

Sundowns’ brilliant display in this year’s pursuit of clinching their second Africa title placed them at the top of Group A with 16 points, six ahead of second-placed Al Ahly.

Maema regarded the significance of collecting points and goals when competing in a foreign environment.

“[I’ve learnt] that you stand a better chance of going into the next round when you win your away games and play with confidence. The responsibility has not changed from everyone [that forms] part of Mamelodi Sundowns, and we will do our best to get the results against Petro De Luanda.”

The return leg at the FNB Stadium will take place on Saturday, 23 April at 18:00.

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