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How Matasi almost completed big money move to Congolese giants TP Mazembe

Harambee Stars first choice goalkeeper Patrick Matasi has disclosed how he almost joined Congolese giants TP Mazembe after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The giant shot stopper also says helping the Kenyan national team qualify for the biennial tournament in Egypt handed him his biggest break.

2019 AFCON PERFORMANCE

That feat, according to Matasi who plies his trade at Saint George in Ethiopia, ushered in a big pay day and enabled him complete his house in Kakamega town.

Besides that, Matasi also revealed that he has completed the construction of his mother’s house in the village.

“The preparations ahead of the qualification matches for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals were always top-notch, right from our first match against Sierra Leone.

“That is why even before our last match against Ghana away we held discussions with Football Kenya Federation (FKF) in regards to the bonuses to agree on how to divide the same,” Matasi explained.

“This helped us to focus and had nothing bothering us ahead of the training camp in France. For myself, I added the money to what I had received as sign on fee from my move to StGeorge’s and I completed my house in Kakamega,” he said.

“My mother’s house was also not completed and I went ahead to complete the same so that she can have somewhere decent to stay in,” said Matasi.

The goalkeeper was one of the outstanding players in the tournament and he admits that it created interest from some of the biggest clubs on the continent, including former African champions TP Mazembe.

TP MAZEMBE INTEREST

Matasi saved a penalty from Sadio Mane during Kenya’s second match against Senegal which Harambee Stars lost 3-0.

“We did our best despite this being our first time in the tournament. The lack of experience was a big factor but now we have learnt and we believe it will better next time. This was a good opportunity for us and it helped expose a lot of our players and with it several opportunities,” said Matasi.

“TP Mazembe goalkeeper coach was at the Nations Cup with the DR Congo national team. He forwarded my name to the club. I think he was impressed by my performances. The club contacted my representatives, we had talks. Then the move fell through because I was to replace a goalkeeper who was heading to France, but then didn’t move.”

Being in his second season in Ethiopia, Matasi says he has settled and is looking forward to doing even better.

“The first season was tough as I had to live in camp where the food was predictable. I have now moved into my own house and it allows me to sample different dishes.

“On the pitch I had a not so good first leg in the first season conceding 11 goals. The second leg was better with only two goals conceded. I was looking to do even better this season but it was cancelled due to the corona virus pandemic,” he said.