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WATCH: Mamelodi Sundowns should make up the bulk of Bafana squad - Andile Jali

Mamelodi Sundowns captain Andile Jali. Picture: Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns captain Andile Jali. Picture: Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

Published Apr 6, 2022


Johannesburg - Fresh off securing qualification into the knockout rounds of the CAF Champions League without defeat, Mamelodi Sundowns are in imperious form and arguably the best team on the continent at the moment.

The Brazilians lead the DStv Premiership standings and look certain for a fourth crown in the last five seasons, an undeniable show of dominance and consistency, the same traits their midfielder Andile Jali have displayed for many years of his top-flight football career.

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Jali had a rocky start to his career at Chloorkop in his first season, featuring in a total of just 90 minutes through the campaign, the least of his career as injuries plagued his rehabilitation progress.

The former Orlando Pirates man, however, has revealed that he had never considered leaving Pretoria because no other team in the country guarantees trophies like Sundowns.

"People are quick to forget, but they shouldn't make a mistake, if you want to win a trophy in South Africa, you go to Sundowns," he explained on Robert Marawa’s Marawa Sports Worldwide show.

"I have never considered leaving Mamelodi Sundowns, even during my hard times. The one thing that motivated me though is not knowing where I'd go if I left Sundowns, any player that leaves this club is trying to dodge winning trophies."

“Gattuso” as he is known to his followers has emerged from that dark period and looks an unstoppable force in the heart of the defending champions’ midfield, earning the captain's armband in the process.

Jali expressed how all the criticism he received from football fans when he joined Sundowns has actually helped him, going as far as saying he loved the pessimism as he watched from the sidelines.

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"I still remember the picture that trended on social media of me, Oupa (Manyisa) and Thokozani Sekotlong watching the game from the stands," Jali said.

"The negative comments and treatment I received when I joined Sundowns lit a fire in me and built the man and the player that I am right now."

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The former K.V Oostende midfielder has been the subject of a heated debate during the recent international break after he and teammate Themba Zwane missed out on Bafana Bafana call ups despite their good form.

Having played under coach Hugo Broos in Belgium, Jali believes the Belgian international mentor knows him very well and what he's capable of and maybe that's why he hasn't called him up.

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Jali does boldly claim, however, that the entire Sundowns team would be the right group to represent the national team.

"Mamelodi Sundowns should be the ones playing for Bafana Bafana, with the exclusion of foreign nationals of course." he claimed.

"I am always available for the national team and I can still contribute a lot to the team."