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WATCH: I knew I had overstayed my welcome at Mamelodi Sundowns - Hlompho Kekana

Former Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana announced his retirement on Monday. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Former Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana announced his retirement on Monday. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Published Aug 3, 2022

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Durban - Former Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana midfielder Hlompho Kekana called time on his career as he penned a farewell letter to the football fraternity and announced his retirement on Monday.

The Zebeldia-born midfielder is one of the most successful players in the PSL era and arguably the most decorated Masandawana captain of all time.

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'KK', as he was affectionately known by the Brazilians’ faithful, departed the Pretoria giants last November after he and the club agreed to the termination of his contract with one year left to run, the two parties separating amicably after a decade together.

The 37-year-old played a total of 709 minutes across all competitions in his final season with Sundowns, a stark contrast to his 3 867 minutes in the 2019/20 campaign under coach Pitso Mosimane.

Kekana may have been approaching the twilight years of his illustrious career but he revealed on Marawa Sports Worldwide that his decision to depart Sundowns was one of disappointment at the number of minutes he would be required to contend with as the club technical teams look to breed in new blood.

"Not playing many games for me that season was crazy, especially after playing so much over the years, but that's when I realised I had overstayed my welcome at Sundowns and it was about time I gave way for the upcoming youngsters," he revealed.

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"I was incredibly sad that I was watching from the sidelines because I trained really well, so getting left out of the squad because the people in my position were doing better than I was made me feel as if the game was leaving me behind."

During his time on the field at both SuperSport United and Sundowns , Kekana won almost every trophy there is to win in domestic football.

He is an eight time domestic league champion, an African Champions League and Super Cup winner and holder of two Telkom Knockout gold medals.

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Kekana has always let his competitive spirit lead him in his career and believes the reason behind his decision to retire right now is the non-existent will to contend at the highest level.

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"I was out for about a year and that's a lot of time for someone like me who plays the game with emotions but in my time out I couldn't find the emotion of competitiveness and drive to play at that level again," he explained.

"I haven't lost my touch or ability and my legs can still carry me for sure but I've only laced up my boots once after I left Sundowns and that was for a social five-a-side match and I've never wanted to play again."

@ScribeSmiso

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