Home Sport Soccer Masilela is happy to be at AmaZulu

Masilela is happy to be at AmaZulu


“It was one of those negotiations that just took longer than expected. It is done, I’m here and I’m happy.”

TSEPO Masilela has rubbished suggestions that he took so long to sign for AmaZulu because he was haggling for “a bigger package”.

The well-travelled left-back has been training with Usuthu for a while but only put pen to paper recently.

“What is a bigger package?” a clearly infuriated Masilela asked.

“I can reveal the package and someone might say it is not too big and somebody else’s reaction might be that it is big. Negotiations are just negotiations,” the former Bafana Bafana star explained.

“It is not like I wanted (a) bigger package. Sometimes the negotiations take long and sometimes they can take just 10 minutes or they can be done in a week. It was nothing new. But what is a bigger package? People just talk but they won’t explain what is a bigger package because they don’t know what is going on between myself and the club.

“It was one of those negotiations that just took longer than expected. It is done, I’m here and I’m happy.”

The defender made his debut for Usuthu in their defeat to Chippa United having signed an eight-month deal to bring an end to his year-long idleness after he parted ways with Kaizer Chiefs.

Masilela says he does not regret the time spent away from the game despite it giving the impression he had retired.

“You guys thought I’d retired and you wrote me off. But I was OK, man, I spent time with the family and kids.

“Being away from the game gave me an opportunity to wake up and drop them at school and pick them up after school. I took them for lunch. I spent more time with my wife and family because I’ve been playing since I was a teen. I’ve always been on the road.

“There was a period when I played for the national team and there were qualifiers that would be immediately followed by Uefa Champions League qualifiers when I still played in Israel. At the end of the season I had to go to Bafana camps. It was hectic and I didn’t spend enough time with my family.”

Having achieved so much in his career – he played at the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations as well as in the Spanish La Liga and Uefa Champions League and won titles with Kaizer Chiefs – why is he still hungry for more?

“Passion keeps me going, not the achievements. It is nice to win trophies.

“It was a dream come true to play the World Cup on home soil. But if the passion is still there and the legs can still carry you, you can still wake up in the morning and inspire the younger guys and try be the best teammate,” he said.

“Playing in those big tournaments doesn’t make you superior, there’s always room for improvement. You can always learn new things.”

In South Africa there’s a notion that once a player is over 30 they are finished.

“I don’t even think about that. Those are the things that I don’t have control over. People can say whatever, it is football. I’ve just been given a chance thanks to AmaZulu so I have to perform.

“Happy Jele is still playing. Musa Nyatama is still there, so is Morgan Gould and Yeye (Reneilwe Letsholonyane). These are guys that keep me going. If they can do it, I can also do it.”

Usuthu will be up against Sundowns tonight at 7.30pm in an Absa Premiership match.

“Make no mistake, Sundowns are strong. They have been doing it for years in Africa. They are the reigning PSL champions.

“Sundowns are not a surprise to anyone. They are the best team in our league,”Masilela cautioned.

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