Saturday Sep 01, 2018. 12:00
Following Siphiwe Tshabalala’s transfer to Turkish Super Lig side BB Erzurumspor from Kaizer Chiefs this week, a former teammate has revealed how the veteran’s healthy lifestyle has prolonged his career.
‘Shabba’ was announced as a new signing for the Turkish top flight club, ending an 11-year association with South African giants Kaizer Chiefs.
That the Bafana Bafana midfielder has moved to Europe just a few weeks before his 34th birthday – a time when most players are beginning to wind down their careers – is a major surprise.
Yet Tshabalala’s former Chiefs teammate and close friend Reneilwe Letsholonyane, has revealed the secret to his longevity.
"It's difficult to have staying power in this game‚ in a sense that there are a lot of things that happen in this world‚" ‘Yeye’ is quoted by Times Live.
"There's this pressure that comes with being a footballer in terms of a lifestyle. It's not peer pressure‚ because you are way past that stage.
"But‚ it's that pressure where‚ if you are not disciplined enough as an individual you would end up falling into a trap ... and end up making wrong decisions‚ which would catch up with you in the long run because of a bad lifestyle.
"Even if you are not a party person or don't drink [alcohol]‚ you end up there because you want to fit in."
Letsholonyane added, "You are human ... we are human‚ and we need to have some fun every now and then‚ but I know for a fact that for us‚ with Shabba‚ it would be a party when‚ sometimes‚ we are out with teammates.
"It was not something that happened every weekend. I always say to the youngsters that in our field‚ football is entertainment for fans‚ but not entertainment like for musicians or artists. Those ones can stay up in a [night] club the whole night.
"It's their job to be in a party scene‚ but as a footballer you can't be an entertainer who is at training in the morning and when you are supposed to rest‚ you are going out at night. That needs discipline.”