Hugo Marques in action for Petro de Luanda: Image via WhatsApp by Hugo Marques.

Hugo Marques in action for Petro de Luanda: Image via WhatsApp by Hugo Marques.

CAF Champions League star: I want Sundowns in the final

CAF Champions League’s most in-form goalkeeper has challenged that his ultimate ambition is to test himself against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Hugo Marques in action for Petro de Luanda: Image via WhatsApp by Hugo Marques.

Hugo Marques in action for Petro de Luanda: Image via WhatsApp by Hugo Marques.

Petro de Luanda goalkeeper Hugo Marques has expressed his wish to meet Mamelodi Sundowns in the final of the ongoing CAF Champions League. The Angolan spoke to The South African before the draw for the continental league. The former Cape Town City FC shot-stopper said he was longing for a dance with the Tshwane giants.

Why the CAF Champions League finest wants Sundowns

The South African then asked the former Angolan international how far he thinks Petro de Luanda can go in this CAF Champions League race. In reply, Hugo Marques quoted the motto of the African Football League winners, saying: “The sky is the limit. I just want Sundowns in the final.”

Hugo Marques was a revelation in this CAF Champions League group stages. He kept clean sheets in all six matches as Petro de Luanda qualified for the quarterfinals. The clean-shaven custodian attributed his rich vein of form to teamwork. He said: “Teamwork. I have the best defenders in Africa. Pedro Pinto, Inacio Miguel, Kinito, Anderson, Eddi Afonso, Vidinho and To Carneiro.”  He further expressed his admiration for Sundowns keeper Ronwen Williams, describing him as the best on the continent.

CAF Champions League star reveals secret amid Sundowns wish

His comments come amid excitement following the CAF Champions League quarterfinal line-up. The draw held on Tuesday saw the Angolans pitied against TP Mazembe, whereas the DStv Premiership invincible date Young Africans (Yanga). The other ties have Al Ahly taking on Simba SC, whereas Esperance Sportive de Tunis meets Asec Mimosa. First-leg quarterfinal matches are scheduled for the weekend of March 29 and 30, 2024. Second-leg quarterfinal games will take place on the weekend of April 5 and 6, 2024, according to CAF. Al Ahly are the defending champions.

How Hugo Marques fared at Cape Town City

Hugo Marques impressed when he featured in 34 matches for Cape Town City. Little wonder he was voted the DStv Premiership’s best keeper in the 2021-2022 season. However, he took many by surprise in South African football circles when he requested the management of the Citizens to release him from his contract in August 2022. His deal with the Cape Town-based outfit was then set to end the following year in June.

Recoup of the Angolan’s time in DStv Premiership

Now back home, the Angolan has since re-established himself as one of the best keepers in the Girabola league, and the CAF Champions League. The veteran player has always relished meetings against Sundowns as such games remind him of his DStv Premiership spell. The Pretoria-based side last met the Angolans on October 21, 2023. The Rulani Mokwena-led outfit won the quarterfinal first-leg 2-0 before completing the job three days later with a goalless draw in the reverse fixture.