- Kaizer Chiefs striker Leonardo Castro scored a crucial brace in the match against Highlands Park
- Coach Ernst Middendorp admitted that it took him months to realise that Castro was able to communicate in English
- Castro nearly exited Naturena during preseason, but picked up his game
Kaizer Chiefs striker Leonardo Castro made history on Wednesday evening against Highlands Park.
Castro scored a crucial brace to secure a 3-0 win in Chiefs' historic 50th birthday match.
In the absence of his strike partner Samir Nurkovic, Castro took the extra responsibility as he slotted his two goals.
Wednesday's performance was just one example of Castro's outstanding form this season.
Briefly.co.za previously reported on the lethal partnership formed with Khama Billiat and Samir Nurkovic, better known as CBN.
The feisty forward has now scored seven goals in 12 appearances this season.
However, things could have been so different as coach Ernst Middendorp revealed.
SowetanLIVE reported on the challenges Middendorp and Castro initially faced last season.
Middendorp said, "It’s unbelievable‚ probably it was my fault‚ I don’t know – until May I even didn’t know he was able to speak English in a proper way.”
The German tactician marvelled at the combination between Castro and Nurkovic during preseason and realised their physicality would add a different dimension to Chiefs' attack.
Middendorp added, “In particular with Samir and him‚ to have two players up-front who are really putting a stamp in a different direction‚ and not really well-known in South Africa‚ with a certain power and physical presence."
Briefly.co.za understands that it was at this point when both Castro and the club mutually agreed that the forward should stay.
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