Matsoso: I cried when I heard the call-up


Luciano Matsoso (c) of Lesotho during the 2018 COSAFA match between Lesotho and Swaziland at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 02 June 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Likuena midfielder says after forsaking  national duty


MASERU – Luciano Matsoso, Likuena’s attacking midfielder who less than two months ago called time on his days doing international duty for the national team, has officially reversed the decision. Matsoso recently made public his decision to quit the national team after coach Thabo Senong dropped him from the squad that faced Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualifiers.

Senong this week called up Matsoso back to the senior national team for two scheduled friendly matches against Mozambique and eSwatini early next month in preparation of this year’s senior men’s COSAFA Cup tournament to be held in South Africa from July 2-17 – marking the tourney’s return after it was postponed last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  In an interview with Public Eye on Monday this week, Matsoso said he was extremely pleased with the call up, despite his earlier decision to retire as a consequence of failure to make Likuena’s final squad.

“I am very happy because that’s what I wanted to happen from the beginning,” said Matsoso. “My main goal is to win two or three trophies with the national team before I retire. That’s what I want to achieve with the national team…and I am happy to be called back to duty.” He told this publication he was unconditionally withdrawing his earlier utterances.

“I am totally cancelling that statement because I have realised that as a footballer life won’t be easy without a national team. This is because when teams want to sign a player they first check whether he is playing for a national team or not.” Matsoso said he even cried when he first heard about his call up. “I even cried when saw it (the list of called up players) because I was happy and I don’t want to put myself under unnecessary pressure.

What I can say now is that I am going to enjoy playing football because what I need to win the COSAFA Cup.” Matsoso said after winning the COSAFA Cup he might consider retirement from international football for good. “After winning the tourney then I could consider retiring from the national team because at present I have a Bronze medal from the same tournament, I want a Gold medal.”

Likuena are yet to win the COSAFA Cup. Their good performance at the competition was reaching the final in 2000. Matsoso currently plays for the ABC Motsepe League side Wits FC in South Africa. He joined Wits from the former Lesotho champions Lioli FC. Matsoso is also the former Black Leopards player in the then ABSA Premiership in South Africa and MKS Oscar in Poland.   


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