…as she reigns supreme at this year’s CAF Women’s Champions League
MASERU – Mehalalitoe captain, Boitumelo Rabale has been highly acclaimed for winning the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Women’s Champions League Best Player Award. She was named the Best Player of the Tournament after scoring a brilliant second goal to help her South African side, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies win this year’s CAF Champions League as they beat Sporting Club Casablanca of Morocco 3-0 in the final in Korhogo, Cote d’Ivoire, last Sunday.
Queen, as Rabale is affectionately called, is getting praise from local women’s football experts for winning the biggest individual award of the competition. “It’s a well-deserved accolade,” said one of the local women’s football coaches, Lehloenya Nkhasi, in an interview with Public Eye. “She carried the team throughout the tournament and played consistently, scoring crucial goals on the way.”
Nkhasi, who is also the former coach of Mehalalitoe, said Rabale’s performance at this year’s CAF Women’s Champions League was superb. “Her performance was superb. She rose to the occasion when the team needed her most, and that’ is what big players do at big stages like that.” Nkhasi said what helped Rabale a lot was being humble. “She is humble and always wants to improve her game. She also works hard.”
He further said: “With this performance, I think it is about time for her to consider going to Europe. To be honest, she deserves to play in bigger and more professional leagues.” Puseletso Mokhosi, also a former Mehalalitoe coach, said Rabale’s performance expressed her hunger to shine.
“Her performance has shown that she was hungry (to do well) and was enjoying herself,” she said. “She showed maturity and responsibility.” Mokhosi believes the arrival of new players at Sundowns Ladies has pushed Rabale to further improve her performance, as well as the fact that the club recently honoured her with the number 10 jersey ever since she was named the Hollywoodbets Super League Player of the Season for last season.
Rabale wore the number 19 jersey before. “I guess jersey number 10 and the competition of new players at Sundowns played a pivotal role in Rabale’s improved performance,” Mokhosi said. Rabale, Mokhosi said, should not rush into playing overseas but stay in South Africa and enjoy her dominance.
“Yes, she has what it takes to play in Europe, but for now she should enjoy her dominance in South Africa. Former Mehalalitoe goalkeepers’ coach, Tšepo Mathetha, also said: “Rabale has proved herself beyond reasonable doubt.”
He said what is also impressive about the player is that she scores every time she gets an opportunity. “She scores every time she gets an opportunity. She is actually their magical player. She is an outstanding player.”
Mathetha further said that it is unfortunate that Rabale was born in Lesotho. “To be honest, it is so unfortunate that she was born in Lesotho. She deserves more than she is carrying.” Meanwhile, this was Rabale’s second CAF Women’s Champions League title with Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies in three years.
The Mehalalitoe captain first won the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League title with Sundowns in 2021.