Zimbabwe and Kaizer Chiefs legend Tinashe Nengomasha has warned his countryman Khama Billiat against leaving Amakhosi for north African clubs, saying the midfielder should avoid a "Neymar-like standoff" with the club.
In the wake of Billiat's fine individual display for The Warriors at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, his agent Mike Ngobeni publicly confirmed that Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca and a host of other north African giants want his client.
However, Nengomasha has urged Billiat to remain at Chiefs, predicting he might regret the move to the Arab region the same way it happens with Brazilian superstar Neymar, who now laments leaving Spanish powerhouse Barcelona for affluent French side Paris Saint-Germain.
"Billiat must remain at Chiefs. We do not want to see another Neymar situation with him. He's at the peak of his career. I think the only move that he must consider is going to Europe," Nengomasha told Sowetan yesterday.
"Neymar now wants to return to Barca because he wanted money at PSG. Billiat must see that as a lesson. He seems happy in SA, he knows the league and his family is closer to him. I feel if he can move to north Africa, two years later he will regret."
Nengomasha has challenged Billiat, 28, to help Chiefs reclaim the glory instead. The ex-Chiefs midfield anchor further hinted that north African could be hard for Billiat to adapt in.
"Chiefs showed him love by signing him and giving him reasonable salary, of which I do not know how much. But he must stay there and repay the faith by winning trophies.
"Sometimes money is not everything. North Africa is not an easy place, the culture is different," he said.
With his compatriots Nyasha Munetsi and Teenage Hadebe having just transferred to reputable European leagues from Orlando Pirates and Chiefs respectively, Nengomasha has explained why his countrymen seem to have the upper hand in securing contracts abroad over SA-born players.
"It's not that SA players are not as talented, the difference is hunger. Zim players are hungrier than SA players. In Zimbabwe the economic situation is bad and when you get a chance to shine, you do not waste it because you know the struggle," Nengomasha stated.
Hadebe, 23, joined Turkish top-flight side Yeni Malatyaspor in eastern Turkey on a two-year deal, while the 22-year-old Munetsi was snatched up by French Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims, penning a three-year deal.
"Seeing Teenage and Nyasha going to Europe is wonderful, it will also strengthen our national team. They are good examples for the whole southern Africa region," said Nengomasha.