FILE - Reneilwe Letsholonyane during his time at Kaizer Chiefs. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
FILE - Reneilwe Letsholonyane during his time at Kaizer Chiefs. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs legend Reneilwe ‘Yeye’ Letsholonyane leaves behind a strong legacy

By Eshlin Vedan Time of article published Jul 2, 2021

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DURBAN - FORMER Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs star Reneilwe ‘Yeye’ Letsholonyane announced his retirement from professional football on social media yesterday.

In his heyday, the 39-year-old was one of the most respected midfielders in South African football due to his work rate and precise passing ability.

While not a prolific goalscorer, he developed a reputation for being the “engine” and heartbeat of teams that he played for in a similar vein to French football legend and 1998 World Cup winner Claude Makelele.

The 1.73m tall midfielder started his professional career with Hellenic FC in 2002 and after some promising performances for Jomo Cosmos, earned his big break with a move to Kaizer Chiefs in 2008.

That same year, he was called up to the Bafana Bafana squad for the first time and went on to make over 50 appearances for the national team.

Letsholonyane was a key Bafana figure for several years, playing at the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2013 and 2015.

He was part of the Kaizer Chiefs squad that dominated local football in Stuart Baxter’s first stint as coach of the Soweto giants, helping the club to win two domestic titles in 2013 and 2015.

From Chiefs, he earned a move to SuperSport United in 2016 at the age of 34. His experience helped Matsatsantsa to win one MTN 8 and Nedbank Cup title.

After leaving SuperSport, Letsholonyane had bit-part roles with Highlands Park and most recently TS Galaxy.

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Letsholonyane’s recent comments indicate that he will be involved in football in a coaching capacity, and that he was working on enhancing his coaching skills.

“I’m left with two or three months to complete my Scottish Uefa B licence.

“As things stand, all is going well and I’m looking forward to another … maybe B SAFA/CAF licence that will be happening later this year,” he told South African media last month.

@EshlinV

IOL Sport

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