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Blom dispels notion MLS is a retirement league

Ex-Chiefs man admits Messi has lifted the US division

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Njabulo Blom during the South Africa men's national soccer team training session at High Performance Centre on Monday
Njabulo Blom during the South Africa men's national soccer team training session at High Performance Centre on Monday
Image: Gallo Images/Lee Warren

Bafana Bafana midfield workhorse Njabulo Blom differs with those who say the US Major League Soccer (MLS) isn't strong enough.

Having missed the previous camp, where Bafana played Namibia and DR Congo in two friendlies last month, Blom is back with the national side ahead of another two friendlies against Eswatini at FNB Stadium on Friday (6pm) and Ivory Coast away four days later. 

Blom, who joined St Louis City in the MLS from Kaizer Chiefs in January, doesn't agree with those who say the US league was weaker or a retirement league as some have termed it, arguing the influx of European and South Americans solidifies that division.

"Obviously I've heard a lot of people saying the league in the US is not as competitive but I feel like you only see it [that it's competitive] when you are there,'' Blom said during a media conference at Tuks High Performance Centre in Pretoria yesterday.

"I have to be honest, I've been there for almost a year now and I think it's a really competitive league because a lot of players from Europe are coming in now and also players from South Africa...they make the league a bit better.''

The 23-year-old central midfielder also reckons having seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, who's Inter Miami's property, has also aided MLS in terms of being taken more seriously.

"We all know that Messi is one of the best players in the world and we knew when we moved to the MLS that the league will get a lot of attention, a lot of sponsors, so it's been great having him around because now the league is being taken seriously,'' Blom said.

The lad from Dobsonville in Soweto also reflected on how the switch from Amakhosi to City came about, revealing there were things he wasn't happy with in his Chiefs contract.

"[When City came knocking] I was still trying to figure out my next move because there were things that weren't good at Chiefs, we were not getting into agreement in terms of my contract,'' Blom reflected.

"So, my agent [Rob Moore] told me that there was a new team in the US and they were interested in me and it might be a good move for me to use that as a stepping stone to Europe.

"I sat down with my family and we decided it was a really good move for me to grow as a human being... move out of my comfort zone, find myself as a young adult."


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