'I’ll always be grateful' - Cameroon striker Machia confirms Sporting Braga exit
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‘I’ll always be grateful’ – Cameroon striker Machia confirms Sporting Braga exit


The forward is leaving the Portuguese side after deciding to end her stay with Miguel Santos’ team

Sporting Braga striker Farida Machia has revealed that she will not be continuing with the Portuguese club ahead of the new season.

On April 8, the Portuguese Football Federation declared the season over due to the global health crisis as a result of the coronavirus, with no champions and no team relegated or promoted.

And the development saw the 28-year-old, whose contract expires on June 30, decide to break her ties with the club after just 23 appearances in all competitions in the 2019-20 season.

The forward joined the Portuguese outfit from American side Boston Breakers in the summer of 2018, scoring nine goals and providing 12 assists in 49 appearances during her two-year stay.

“I personally, want to grow and find a new way of expressing myself [football-wise],” Machia told Goal.

“I appreciate all the support and love I and the team have gotten from them throughout my stay. It’s been really amazing!” 

The Cameroonian made a successful debut in Portugal as she scored five goals and made as many assists in 26 appearances to inspire Braga to claim the Portuguese title for the first time in 2018.

Looking back on her sojourn with Miguel Santos’ team, the Indomitable Lionesses star, who also made her maiden Women’s Champions League outing with the club, shared her unforgettable moments.

“As a player, my intention is to keep elevating my game and writing my own story in the game,” she continued.

“Definitely, my highest moment was winning the Portuguese Championship title last year.

“The fact that it was the first championship in the history of the team and it was in front of the Braga fans just made it extra special. 

“The lowest would have to be our 7-0 loss against PSG because I knew we could have done better and the result wasn’t reflective of who we were.”

Reigning champions Braga accrued 28 points from 13 games and were close to losing the race to defend their title, as they were 16 points adrift of Sporting CP and leaders Benfica after 15 games.

Despite the 2019-20 season’s cancellation, the former AS Green City star described the Portuguese federation’s decision as “strategic” and the “smartest thing to do”.

“Given the health crisis and the risk of contaminations, it seemed like the smartest thing to do. I would describe it as strategic. Of course, it has a direct impact on our aspirations,” she insisted. 

“We were in the semi-finals of the Portuguese Cup and were supposed to play the first final of the new Taca da Portugal. So that’s two trophies we could have had the chance to win. 

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“I was contented and confident in my performances. I think as a team we knew we had let the championship slip up but we were focused on winning and getting trophies.”

Having left Braga, Machia becomes the fourth player to confirm their exit from the Portuguese club after Rute Costa, Francisca Cardoso and Nigeria’s Chinaza Uchendu.

She is likely to move elsewhere in Europe and also fight for a place in the Cameroon squad for the 2020 African Women’s Cup of Nations.



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