Siphiwe Tshabalala has no intention of calling time on playing career
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 this time of lockdown to keep himself in shape because he is not ready to end his chapter in football.
The masses in the football fraternity across the world will always remember him for his amazing strike during the opening match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa against Mexico.
In an interview with IOL Sport, Shabba made it clear that he is not done in football.
“I still have goals that I personally 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.
The crowds have always appreciated this imaginative and reliable artist in the colours of the national team and Amakhosi.
He represented Bafana at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) while campaigning in the Mvela League (now the GladAfrica Championship) in 2006. Shabba never looked back as he went on to don the national colours at the 2009 Fifa Confederation Cup, the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and two other Afcons in Ghana (2008) and Mzansi in 2013.
“There’s no pressure for me (about my next move). I’ll decide after lockdown what will happen,” Shabba answered when he was quizzed after his preference for his next destination.
On the domestic front, Shabba has also performed with honour and sometimes with outstanding distinction. In his stint with Amakhosi, he amassed two league triumphs, three Telkom Knockout crowns, the MTN8 title, and the Nedbank Cup.
Despite all his success at club and international level, Shabba 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 upbringing. I don’t think there’s anything that is going to change me,” he elaborated.
Even now, the 35-year-old is still a darling at Naturena. Asked if a return to Chiefs is on the cards, he replied: “I don’t know.”
But he still appreciates the love he receives from the fans of Amakhosi. “I am really humbled by the love they are showing in me. It means a lot to me and I wish them the best of luck.”