Former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi says he wants to emulate Italian icon Gianluigi Buffon and play for as long as possible.
Johannesburg — Both Daniel Cardoso and Daniel Akpeyi have indicated that their release from Kaizer Chiefs came as no surprise.
Since the end of the 2021/22 season, Chiefs have announced the release of up to 10 players or 30% of the squad from last season with veterans Akpeyi and Cardoso being among the departed.
To some fans, their departures were somewhat of a surprise as the duo played in their fair share of games last season. 33-year-old Cardoso was a Premiership regular for Chiefs last season playing in 22 league games while Akpeyi played in 12.
Now 35-years-old, Akpeyi does not have any plans to retire just as yet and is hoping to emulate Italian goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon who is still playing professional football at the age of 44-years-old.
“I’m professional in my job and now the job begins. As a goalkeeper, your peak starts from 30 up until the time you quit. The most important thing is to keep your body fit. That will carry you like how it carries Buffon and how it carried Iker Casillas. I’m trying to keep myself fit for as long as possible to see how long I can go,” Akpeyi said.
Nigerian international Akpeyi has indicated that he has offers on the table and is in the process of making a decision on his future. He also expressed his hurt after his native Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar later this year.
“Things are coming up and I’m in the process of making a decision on my future at the moment. I’m not trying to exaggerate but Nigeria are one of the giants of football on the African continent. We expected to be one of the African teams in Qatar.
“Unfortunately it did not come to fruition. The national team is currently preparing for the 2023 African Nations Cup qualifiers and that is the next step,” said Akpeyi.
Cardoso indicated that his release came as no surprise as he saw the club making major structural changes.
“I saw it coming. They wanted to bring in youth from the development squad. Kaizer Motaung Junior started to indicate from January that there may be plans to offload senior players,” said Cardoso.
Cardoso confirmed that he plans to play for up to another four years and has received interest from local clubs, though there is also a possibility that he could play in Europe in the near future.
“I’ve been spending time with my family in the Kruger Park. There is talk about me going to Europe. I will have to weigh up my options. By next week I should know what is happening. There have been a couple of enquiries from the PSL and my representative should soon let me know about what is taking place,” said Cardoso.
Cardoso is also currently planning for life after football and has set up a football academy in the South of Johannesburg called Dream Big Kids (DBK) Football Stars Academy which was set up along with Maritzburg United defender Keegan Ritchie and former Bidvest Wits defender Brandon Barkhuizen.