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De Reuck’s journeys continue as Sundowns face the Champions League challenges

The past year has probably been a roller coaster ride for Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rushine De Reuck. The 26-year-old went to Sundowns from Maritzburg, where he made the longest journey from the KwaZulu-Natal capital to Limpopo.

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At Sundowns, he makes quick trips all over Africa every other week, sometimes via Europe. The Cape Town-born defender has established himself so quickly that Sundowns coaches were able to say goodbye to veteran defender Ricardo Nascimento without thinking twice.

De Reuck is currently in Egypt with Masandawana, where they will stay for two weeks as they have two Café Champions League matches. The first will be against Sudan’s El Merreikh on Saturday, whose home games will be played in Cairo due to their home location disqualification.

“I expect a very physical match, comparable to that of Al-Hilal,” says De Reuck on the club’s website.

Sundowns won their first match in Group A 1-0 by beating another Sudanese side Al-Hilal 1-0.

“We have to be ready as a team and fight for everything. We know we can hurt them if we use the ball well and take our chances.”

De Reuck says teams in the Champions League are more structured, which makes the ball rotation a little slower, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make the games any easier in any way.

“I feel like it’s a lot more structured in the Champions League and teams are a little bit more clinical. The game seems a little easier, but an easy game on the eye can be very dangerous, so we have to be on the whole game to stay.

“We have to make sure we don’t give anything away because every game has those difficult moments and we have to be ready.”

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