Phiri signs for French Ligue 1 side Guingamp


Lebogang Phiri has become the latest South African to play in France's Ligue 1 after signing for EA Guingamp on Tuesday.

The midfielder has penned a four-year contract after leaving Danish side Brondby, where he failed to agree terms on a new deal.

Phiri, who is in the South African squad to play Nigeria in a Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo on June 10, joins Keagan Dolly (Montpellier HSC), Kermit Erasmus (whose Stade Rennes are in the same Brittany region as Guingamp) and Lebo Mothiba (Lille OSC) in the French top-flight next season.

Guingamp confirmed the signing on their website on Tuesday and said the player would be presented to the media when the first team squad starts training for the new season at the end of June.

Guingamp, who are coached by Antoine Kambouare and have four other Africans in their squad, finished 10th in the recently completed Ligue 1 season. They were French champions in 1994, and have also won the country's FA Cup trophy twice, most recently in 2014.

Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda are two of their more notable former players in recent times.

Phiri joined Brondby in January 2013 from new South African champions Bidvest Wits' academy, initially on an amateur contract but was quickly elevated to the first team and months later played a big role in helping the side avoid relegation.

He has been a leading player for the side since and a key cog in their midfield, and despite being only 22, played in over 140 starts in all competitions, including the Europa League.

Phiri made his debut for Bafana Bafana, as the South African national team are nicknamed, in a 3-1 friendly win over Swaziland in March 2015 and also played all three matches as the side won the COSAFA Castle Cup in Namibia last June.