Nomvethe, 40, to call time on his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer

The Independent on Saturday - - SPORT - MINENHLE MKHIZE

SOUTH African football leg­end Siyabonga ‘Bhele’ Nomvethe will hang up his boots at the end of the sea­son and is happy with how his ca­reer has panned out.

The 40-year-old for­ward first made his pres­ence felt over 20 years ago and has rep­re­sented big teams like Kaizer Chiefs, Or­lando Pirates and Moroka Swallows.

The KwaMashu-born foot­baller played in two World Cups as well as the 2000 Olympics Games.

Ad­dress­ing the me­dia yes­ter­day, Nomvethe said he is proud of what he has achieved over the years.

“This is my last sea­son play­ing football. I would love to thank my fam­ily, man­age­ment of AmaZulu and Pro Sports In­ter­na­tional. This is def­i­nitely my last sea­son. But I’ve so en­joyed my ca­reer. I never ex­pected that I would get this far as a foot­baller,” ex­plained Nomvethe who is the all-time Premier Soc­cer League (PSL), top goalscorer.

“I’ve so en­joyed my ca­reer and I want to thank ev­ery­one who con­trib­uted to mak­ing it a suc­cess. I did my job. I’ve played football with pas­sion.

“You have to put ev­ery­thing in football. I’m very happy about what I achieved. This game is all about love,” he added.

Nomvethe played for top Euro­pean clubs. He had a stint in Italy as well as Den­mark where he left his mark.

“I’ve never had at­ti­tude, ever since I started play­ing football. I’ve al­ways been hum­ble. I’ve al­ways worked hard. I looked at football as a busi­ness.

“If you want some­thing, you need to work hard. This is what I’ve done through­out my ca­reer,”

Bhele earned 81 Bafana Bafana caps, scor­ing 16 goals for his coun­try. And he be­came the first player to score a win­ning goal for Bafana in the World Cup back in 2002 against Slove­nia.

In 2011/12, when he was at Moroka Swallows, he swept the boards at the PSL awards when he was Foot­baller of the Sea­son and Top Goalscorer.

“As strik­ers we are un­der so much pres­sure but you must rise above that pres­sure by pro­duc­ing good per­for­mances on the field of play. I’m at home now. I never thought that at my age I’d still be play­ing.”

Nomvethe is ex­pected to fea­ture to­mor­row at AmaZulu when they wel­come Mamelodi Sundowns in an Absa Premier­ship show­down at King Zwelithini Sta­dium in Umlazi. Kick­off is at 3pm.

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