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Even at 37, Siphiwe Tshabalala not looking to retire anytime soon

FILE - Former AmaZulu star Siphiwe Tshabalala. Photo: Steve Haag/BackpagePix

FILE - Former AmaZulu star Siphiwe Tshabalala. Photo: Steve Haag/BackpagePix

Published Jan 11, 2022

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Durban — Former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana star Siphiwe Tshabalala is not planning to retire from football, according to his agent Jazzman Mahlakgane.

The 37-year-old spent last season on the books of AmaZulu. However, he was used sparingly by the Durban-based club and it was unsurprising that Benni McCarthy’s side opted to release him at the end of last season.

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The fact that the veteran has remained without a club since has led to speculation that he has retired. Mahlakgane, however, is adamant that Tshabalala still wants to play professionally.

“He has not retired. I don’t want to start any conversations about Tshabalala at the moment because I might get distracted as we are currently busy working on something for him,” Mahlakgane is reported to have said.

While he is certainly past his prime, Tshabalala proved during his cameos for AmaZulu last season that he can still play at the highest level. However, any club that signs him must bear in mind that he will not be a matchwinner as he was in his prime. At best, Tshabalala could be a good squad rotational option for a club looking to sign him and can also provide guidance and mentorship to younger players given his star power.

The Soweto-born Tshabalala is best remembered for his 11-year spell with Kaizer Chiefs between 2007-2018 during which he won two league titles and the SAFA Awards SAFA Footballer of the Year award in 2010.

A tricky winger in his heyday, Tshabalala also had a successful 11-year career with Bafana Bafana. His most memorable moment in the national team jersey came when he struck a classy goal for Bafana Bafana in their 1-1 draw against Mexico in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup. The goal was regarded as one of the best from the 2010 World Cup.

Tshabalala is regarded as one of the best South African players to have played in the last decade. He was constantly linked with moves to Europe in his prime but his European sojourn would only come to be when he was 34-years-old as he left Kaizer Chiefs to join Turkish club BB Erzurumspor in 2018. His time in Turkey lasted just one season before he returned to South Africa.

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