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Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Radebe backs Leeds for top flight

Lucas Radebe
Radebe played for South Africa at the 2002 World Cup

Former Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe believes they are on the right track for a Premier League return.

Radebe was part of the Leeds squad that reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2001 but suffered relegation three years later.

The South African told BBC Radio Leeds: "I think recently they've shown signs of recovery under Simon Grayson.

"Leeds deserve to be in the Premier League and I think they're making their own way there."

He added: "There's a lot of confidence now and they've got a winning team together.

"I think they're strong now and they've made Elland Road the fortress that it once was."

The 39-year-old made more than 200 appearances for Leeds in a career spanning 11 years and is now the 2010 FIFA World Cup Ambassador for South Africa.

He experienced the highs of Leeds' European campaigns in the Champions League and UEFA Cup, but also played in the defeat at Bolton that saw them relegated from the Premiership.

Radebe said: "It's unbelievable - I look at the squad and I don't recognise each and every one of them, never mind the backroom staff.

"That shows that there's been a lot of change but I think it's for the better."

His final match came at Rotherham in the Championship in May 2005, but the Leeds cult hero still has strong links with Elland Road.

"Once at Leeds United, I'll always be Leeds United," he said. "Leeds is my second home and I will always follow them."

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