Independent Online

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Bongani Zungu's praise for Sundowns shows how Pirates and Chiefs have fallen from grace

Bafan Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu

FILE - Bafan Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Jun 9, 2022

Share

Durban — Gone are the days where Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates used to be dream clubs for most of the players in the land. Bongani Zungu’s heartfelt interview on radio, on Tuesday night, proved just that.

Speaking on Sport Night Amplified with Andile Ncube, Zungu said Mamelodi Sundowns will always be his home, while his agent is in talks with the club about a potential return next season.

Story continues below Advertisement

Zungu’s contract with French side Amiens will come to an end this month and he’ll become a free agent. That will make him available on a free transfer.

While he didn’t rule out staying at Amiens, where he’s also enjoying life beyond the football pitch, Zungu’s ideal move back to the local topflight would be at home, Chloorkop.

And no one can fault Zungu for wanting that. Sundowns are, honestly, the only club that can match his demands, financially and career-wise.

However, it hasn’t been that the deep pockets of their president, Patrice Motsepe, bought their success. No! It takes a lot from the team to ensure they are triumphant season in and season out.

The players and coaches, Rulani Mokwena, Manqoba Mngqithi and Steve Komphela, won a domestic treble last season — the title, MTN8 and Nedbank Cup — to further make mockery of their arch-rivals.

But to even say Chiefs and Pirates are their rivals sounds far-fetched at this stage. These are clubs that have won only one trophy between them in the last seven years, while Sundowns have won a whopping 15 trophies in less than a decade.

Story continues below Advertisement

When Keagan Dolly returned from Europe last season, following a four-year disastrous spell at Montpellier, he claimed that he wanted to win trophies with his childhood club Amakhosi.

But all he’s garnered is personal accolades, with Chiefs finishing without a trophy for a seventh successive season. That’s why they ’ve now looked to club legend Arthur Zwane to return the glory days.

Sure, Zungu would be an ideal player for Chiefs who are looking to bolster the engine room, but that doesn’t mean Chiefs would be ideal for him. The man is all about fitting into a balanced team alright.

Story continues below Advertisement

Given that he’ll be 30 in October, Zungu wants a stable environment where he could potentially sign his last contract before calling time on his professional career which started in 2012 at Dynamos.

There’s also the matter of returning to the Bafana Bafana for Zungu who said he’d honour a call-up from coach Hugo Broos – although he lambasted him for being somewhat of a party freak.

At Chiefs where he’d be part of a rebuilding process, it may take a while before he catches the eye of Broos, but not at Sundowns. After all, this is a team that plays continental football on a regular basis.

Story continues below Advertisement

For Chiefs and Pirates to live up to their billing of being the biggest clubs in the land, they do not only need to knock Sundowns off their perch but they’ve got to compete amongst the best in Africa as well.

After all, a famous sports personality recently tweeted that “the PSL is not museum” and people move with time. And Sundowns, on paper, are by far head and shoulders above the rest locally.

@Mihlalibaleka

IOL Sport

Share