‘It is important to remain humble’
SIPHIWE Tshabalala has done it all in his glittering career, but his appetite for success is still intact.
The former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs winger has no intention of hanging up his boots any time soon.
“Shabba”, as he is affectionately known to his admirers, is not resting on his laurels.
He is working diligently during the lockdown to keep himself in shape because he is not ready to end his chapter in football.
Football fans from across the world will always remember him for his strike at the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa against Mexico.
In an interview with Independent Media, Tshabalala made it clear that he is not done with football.
“I still have goals that I want to fulfil. I want to achieve those goals and have fun while I’m still at it. I’m just hopeful that the opportunities will still come. Obviously for now, we are still going through difficult times. Hopefully, after this, when things are back to normal, then I’ll be back on the field,” Tshabalala said.
Fans have always appreciated this imaginative and reliable artist in the colours of the SA national team and Amakhosi.
He represented Bafana at the Africa Cup of Nations while campaigning in the then Mvela League (now the GladAfrica Championship) in 2006. Tshabalala never looked back as he went on to don national colours at the 2009 Fifa Confederation Cup, 2010 World Cup, and two other Afcons in Ghana (2008) and SA in 2013.
“There’s no pressure for me (about my next move). I’ll decide after lockdown what will happen,” Tshabalala answered when he was quizzed about his preference for his next destination.
On the domestic front, Tshabalala has also performed with honour and sometimes with outstanding distinction. In his 11-year career with Chiefs, he won two league titles, three Telkom Knockout crowns, the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup.
Despite all his success at club and international level Tshabalala only moved overseas at the age of 33, but he is not surprised that it took him so long to finally realise his dream of plying his trade in Europe. He joined Turkish outfit Erzurumspor from the Glamour Boys in 2018.
“I’m not surprised. It shows that it is important to be patient in life. It was all about patience and trusting the process,” Tshabalala said.
“It is important to remain humble. I’ve always been like that. I think that has to do with (my) upbringing. I don’t think there’s anything that is going to change me,” he said.
Even now, the 35-year-old is still a adored at Naturena. Asked if a return to Chiefs is on the cards, Tshabalala said: “I don’t know.”
But he still appreciates the love he receives from Chiefs fans. “I am really humbled by the love they are showing me. It means a lot to me and I wish them the best of luck,” Tshabalala said.