South Africa international Thembi Kgatlana has sealed a transfer from Spanish Primera Iberdrola side Eibar to former champions Atletico Madrid, on a three-year deal.
The 25-year-old completed the formalities of her move as a free agent in the bid to continue her professional career in the European nation following the expiration of her one-year contract services with the Granotes.
During her spell at Eibar, the 2018 Africa Women's Footballer of the Year, who arrived in Spanish football from Portuguese champions SL Benfica in the summer of 2020, made an instant impression, contributing 10 goals and eight assists to ensure the survival of the newly promoted outfit in the Spanish topflight.
Just a week after the arrival of Oscar Fernandez from Madrid CFF, the Spanish coach has made the former Houston Dash and Beijing BG Phoenix striker his first summer signing at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Speaking on her switch, the South African international told the club website: “I am very happy to arrive at Atlético de Madrid. As a footballer you always dream of playing for the best clubs ”.
On her immediate and long term ambitions, she said: “My first goal is to be a team player and to work hard for the team. I am very happy to be able to join you soon, I can't wait to meet you all."
Before her move to Eibar, the striker had launched her professional career with NWSL outfit Houston Dash and later left for Chinese side Beijing Phoenix before heading to Portugal for a brief campaign with SL Benfica.
For her country, she helped South Africa to earn a maiden Women's World Cup ticket and also won the 2018 Africa Women's Player of the Year prize, edging now four-time winner Asisat Oshoala.
Few months later in France, she made history for the Southern Africa country, made history when she scored Banyana's first Women's World Cup goal against Spain and featured in all three matches for Banyana Banyana.
Atletico failed to maintain their regular Uefa Women's Champions League appearances, having finished the outgone season in fourth with 63 points from 34 matches - seven adrift third place Levante.
Following the exit of six players, coach Fernandez has moved to bolster his squad ahead of the new season which gets underway on September 4 as they eye the Spanish crown and also seek to make Champions League return.
After her unveiling, the South African star will team up with fellow Africans in Nigeria striker Rasheedat Ajibade and Cameroon striker Ajara Nchout, who joined the club from Norwegian sides Avaldsnes and Valerenga in January.