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Goal Digger

Goal Digger

by Andy Davis / 29.10.2009

Siphiwe Tshabalala is someone to watch out for at next year’s soccer showcase. If Bafana is going to shock the nation and actually play good football at next year’s World Cup showcase, the team needs to be built around players like Benni McCarthey, Steven Pienaar and Matthew Booth. That’ll give us a backbone of experienced quality international players in each quadrant of the field. That’ll give equally talented but more inexperienced players like Siphiwe Tshabalala the chance to shine.

Siphiwe Tshabalala possesses something that Bafana players of late have tended to lack. Vision. He makes things happen on the field. He’s a player with good close control and an eye for defense splitting passes and a knack for timing his run down the left wing. He also has a punishing left foot. Born in Phiri, Soweto back in ‘ 84, Lawrence Siphiwe Tshabalala showed his talent for the beautiful game from an early age. He made the grade and played for the local Phiri Movers before he was inducted into the Kaizer Chiefs youth development system. He came through their ranks before being farmed out to Alex United in the 03/04 season and then played for Free State Stars from 04 to 07, after which he made a triumphant return to Kaizer Chiefs where he is the lynchpin of their midfield. Former Bafana coach Ted Dumitru saw Tshabalala’s potential and picked him for the national side at the tender of age of 20. And he hasn’t looked back since, scoring goals in the 3-0 win over Paraguay, the 1-0 win over Guinea and the 2-1 drubbing of Norway in Rustenberg earlier this year. Many believe that former Bafana coach Joel Santana hasn’t used Siphiwe Tshabalala enough, preferring him as a super-sub later in the game. Hopefully Parreira will see things differently. We hooked up with Siphiwe at the newly built Orlando Stadium to bounce some questions…

Siphiwe Tshabalala

Where were you Born

I was born in Phiri, Soweto, just 7 minutes west from the Orlando Stadium here.

How does living here inspire you?

A lot of things happen in the Jozi. Even before I was born. For me to live in a place that has such a rich history really means a lot.

Growing up here, did you ever think you’d make a career out of football?

Ja, I had that belief when I was still young. Every kid on the street played soccer, but at the age of 10 I realised I had potential and that I could make something out of this. So that’s when it all started.

What happened when you were 10?

I was very good at soccer. Very skillful and I was always playing with the older guys.

Which team did you support growing up?

Kaizer Chiefs all the way!

Which players in the National set up inspire you?

Benni McCarthey. I adore good things. I like copying good things. I’m not jealous. Teko Modise is doing well and Steven Pienaar.

Which players are you looking forward to matching on the field at next year’s World Cup?

Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi and Iniesta. I like their style of play, the way they control the ball and the way they move. Every time they play, they take charge of the game.

Have you got something special you want to show them on the field next year?

It’s about believing in yourself. When you get on the field you must have confidence and forget about everything, put your focus on the game from the first whistle to the last.

What makes you perform on the field?

Whenever I take the field I know my family is behind me, God is behind me and the supporters fill the stadium to watch me play.

What are your hopes and aspirations for after the World Cup?

To play overseas. I want to go to England.

Are people knocking on the door yet?

It’s just speculation, but I’d love to play there.

Currently you’re playing off the bench for Bafana. Is that frustrating?

Ja, but for me to be there is great. If given a chance, I’ll do my best. It’s not easy but I just try and keep it positive.

Tell us about your family.

It’s just me and my younger sister. She’s 11. I look after her.

How do you relate to being a celebrity?

Ja it’s not easy to be famous, to be a public figure. You know I’m a role model, I can’t drink in public. I have to look after myself. Once I’ve achieved my goals, I can start doing such things, but not yet. And I don’t drink.

What if you win the Champions League and there’s some champagne?

Ja, two sips will do.

If you weren’t a professional football player what would you be?

I wanted to be a chartered accountant.

Did you want to be a CA because you like numbers or because you want to make a lot of money?

I wanted to make a lot of money, because I didn’t have a good understanding of finance.

But now you earn a lot of money as a football player?

It’s not a lot, but it puts food on the table.

What will you do when your career is over.

I’m saving as much as I can and I’m investing in property. So when I retire from football I’ll probably continue doing that.

Where can we find you online?

No, I deactivated my Facebook account. There are too many stories there. You find you’re married or engaged to some people you don’t even know. But I might get into this Twitter thing.

What is your career highlight so far?

To wear the boot that has my name on it. To be the frontman of Nike AIR 360. I was the first one to get this boot in Africa.

So they make a signature boot with your name on it.

Ja, I’m honoured and privileged.

Find out more about Siphiwe and the other Nike IAM1 Revolutionaries here.

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RESPONSES (34)
  1. Kontlap says:

    Tshabalala is nca!!

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  2. MATSHEPO says:

    HI TSHABA I WANT TO TELL U THAT IM YOUR BIGGEST FAN AND ALSO A CHIEFS FAN ONE I WOULD LIKE TO MEET YOU,YOU ARE A GOOD PLAYER.

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  3. MATSHEPO says:

    HI IYS MATSHEPO AGAIN THIS IS EMAIL ADRESS mokoenamatshepo@webmail.co.za I WOULD LIKE YOU TO EMAIL ME IF YOU CAN.

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  4. Akhona says:

    Hi akho here jst wanna say to tshabalala its nice to watch u.lv and enjoy watching u

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  5. Hey siphiwe tee here jst wantd 2 tel u tgat im ur biggest fan nd i mean number 1 fan nd i love watchng u take on the field. I’d also lyk u 2 e-mail me if u cn. Big ups 2 u Mr. Tshabalala

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  6. M yr nr one fan yho! uyayenza into yakho ebaleni u rock my world uyababa.

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  7. NTOBEKO MTHABELA says:

    HEY TSABALALA I WULD LYK 2 SAY CONGRA 4 BEING THE BEST AND SUPPORTED PLAYER 4 AMAKHOSI AND BAFANA BAFANA EMPANGENI ESPECIALLY 2 ME.MAY GOD BLESS U.

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  8. Sandy says:

    hi no:14 sandy here jst wanted 2 say u ar hot nd i als wsh 2 meet u 1day im ur biggst fan nd i also luv u mor than ur g4rnd

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  9. Sandy says:

    If u dnt mind u can contact me at 0795874363.i resits in Soweto

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  10. Thabs and Rhyza says:

    Haibo galz please dnt sell urselves. siphiwe is taken so please!!!! control urselves

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  11. Kaykay says:

    hala kaykay here…to siphiwe im a big fan nd i mean BIG!!!!would like to meet you one day…and to the squad go out there and make south africa proud.to u siphiwe make me proud Mwa LOVE YOU STAXXXX!!!!! (hugs and kisses)

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  12. lerato says:

    u the best playa in the whole wide world. i love u, u ma hero

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  13. Siphiwe Mahlangu says:

    hy siphiwe i first started liking u because u and i share a name but now i saw the potential u have and i think thats HOT!!! xoxo

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  14. Koena Makgoka says:

    Hy Siphiwe m 1 of ur biggst fan nd wuld luv to meet u 1day,ddnt get da chance to see u live at peter mokaba but i knw 1day i will…gud luck 1nc again wit da wrld cup,da cup is indeed stayng in mzansi m 110% bhnd ya….feel it ,it is here…frm Koena all da way frm seshego,plk…k03na@ovi.com

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  15. khethani mukoma says:

    I believe that provisioncomes where the is a vision. your confidence will take you higher and higher and thank you SA shine

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  16. Reabetsoe says:

    Hi,phiwe itz ur gal Ree,jst wntd 2 let u knw dat m 1 of ur biggest fans.i wud also lyk 2 congratulate u on ur tremendous goal against mexico,nd ur 50th cap 4 de national team,hpe u wil achieve many mre goals nd caps.we r ryt behind u,mke us proud,we wish u luck nd we love u.God Bless u in everything that u do nd becum a success of ur life.lots of love Reabetsoe

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  17. Carol says:

    Hy jst want to tell u that u are an amazing footballer,nd i knw it sounds lyk a cliche bt u made love watching soccer since the 11th of june when u scored that goal against mexico.U ar a true inspiration to many ppl.And also the best definition of STAR.

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  18. nkateko says:

    hey siphiwe,big ups to you man u realy did great,the fact that we didnt go through dopesnt mean we didnt do our best,i agree with with thabs Haaaaaaaaa gals ur selling urselfs,its cler u dnt want him bcoz u wana get to know him as him and not the taem player or anything like that.u just want to have a peace of him and his money.U MADE SOUTH AFRICA PROUDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD.AYOBA TSHABALALA.

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  19. MPHO says:

    U ROCK I LOVE U SO MUCH AND U PLAYED AYOBER AT THE FIFAWORLD CUP 2010

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  20. Koketso says:

    Hey siphiwe,i always had dreamz abt u,i knew u would make south africa proud.big ups to u man.i would like to meet u somday,so if u want jst invite me on mxit(0732574000)or call me on 0737425000.i would lyk 2 hear 4rm u soon

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  21. Precious says:

    Hey Shabba!! Well played neh? Keep up da good w0rk.

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  22. Hey charmer boy am really proud of u keep up da gud wrk n bby i knew it dat u wuld d it swty congrats i luv u swty n bby boy il b waiting ur cal plz touch me on o734362339 da man of ma drmz if u wna invyt me on mxit herez ma number o763465934 siphiwe plz cl me i rly luv u wsh ma drmz culd bcum true n am 22yrz ne nt bd n ur 26 ryt agh man am hot lyk u r plz touch me so dat we culd b able 2 fal inlv wow

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  23. Hey charmer boy am really proud of u keep up da gud wrk n bby i knew it dat u wuld d it swty congrats i luv u swty n bby boy il b waiting 4ur cal plz touch me on o734362339 da man of ma drmz if u wna invyt me on mxit herez ma number o763465934 siphiwe plz cl me i rly luv u wsh ma drmz culd bcum true n am 22yrz ne nt bd n ur 26 ryt agh man am hot lyk u r plz touch me so dat we culd b able 2 fal inlv_cnt wait 4ur cal yaz bby

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  24. zinhle says:

    Hi phiwe lawrence ntho tse monate tshabalala itz me ma zee zinhle valentine jst wntd 2 cy u rly rock jo mara uv dis ada emty pride wch ur bggst fans dnt rly lyk jo awa chng ur attitude n yoh awa jo ur attitude rly suck n yaz dat dznt suit u oh yeah konje ur da 1st football playa hu scord da 1st goal no wndr uv dis emty pride wch rly damn fucken suck agh man i rly lyk u bt wen it cumz 2 dis attitude of urz nah bbe oh yeah if u wna reply u cn gt me on 0734362339 n if u wna email me ul gt me on b.mtsweni.gov.co.za any way g2b mwah luv u

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  25. Hi swty zintle agn jst wntd 2 cy u rock san ne hpe uv chngd dat damn fuckn stinkng attitude wch i d nt admire at al bt any way jst wntd 2 wsh u al da bst in future evn though itz nt possible 4us 2b 2getha agh bt itz kwl n wl alwayz luv u san hpe 2 c u soon b4 god tykz me.mwah swty luv u 4eva. LOTS OF LUV 4rm zee shp oh yeah by da way dnt 4gt 2 cl agn on O734362339 or 2 EMAIL ME ON,b.mtsweni.gov.co.za shaaaa@ luv ya

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  26. yolokazi says:

    haai simpiwe am very proud of you, you must keep on walking god will do good things for u am your biggest fan and also Amakosi fan

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  27. Maneliza says:

    Hey Siphiwe u rock baby,am so proud about you even in my family they know that u’re our hero we all have you t-shirts so goodluck bra i wishes u all the best and a good wife.

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  28. Thembilicious says:

    Shaba oya baba

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  29. V.com says:

    Hi sphiwe,bby u rock i jst wnt 2 tel u smthng if u dnt mnd pls cal me on o721836o57.

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  30. S3xy b@be says:

    Err…Gals y throw urslfs to sphiwe,surely u dnt thnk he’s gna col u or d8 u jst bcz u lft a “love” letter 4 hm.anyway m nt lyk dat so..Siphiwe kip pushing to reach 4 ur ultimate goal.sky is the l!M!T

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  31. maphuti says:

    hey shaba you really did us prd i wnt lie by scoring the first goal hai no it really shws that hard wrk do pays nd im behnd yal al da wy in watevr you do coz u deserve evry opprtnty dat cums ya way.kip doing us proud frm nomvula at plk

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  32. Anonymous says:

    hey shaba nkully here 4rm daveyton, i must say u rock big time , luv u lyk crazy hala

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  33. sebolelo mariam rapapa says:

    ur de wonderful to me & amakhosi wll done bro from mi heart i luv u & khozi lam

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  34. Nelly Mmatli says:

    U did very well n we as comunity of mkp a proud of u ,M a KC big fan

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