Pirates player Sangweni retires

Pirates player Sangweni retires

Orlando Pirates chairman Dr Irvin Khoza on Thursday paid a moving tribute to defender Siyabonga Sangweni, who has been forced to quit the game through injury.

Siyabonga Sangweni
Gallo Images

The former Bafana Bafana central defender, now 34, has decided to call it a day after a long and esteemed career which started at Golden Arrows, before he went on to spend five seasons at Pirates.

Sangweni has won every major domestic competition in his career, and was a runner up in the 2013 CAF Champions League final and the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup final.

Khoza paid a moving tribute to the Empangeni-born Sangweni, the Bucs chairman holding the player in very high regard.

“Siyabonga has been plagued by injury and after consultation, the medics have confirmed that he has to end his career early.

“Siyabonga Sangweni has been a stalwart for this Club and has been a great leader. He has shown great commitment,” Khoza continued.

“His nickname ‘Nsimbi’ is reminiscent of other greats of this team, like Yster – all hard men, men of steel in character. His commitment is the same as that of Jomo Sono. Both interrupted their weddings to heed the call of the club. Getting married is the most important decision in your life. To postpone four days before shows you his selflessness.

“Jomo spent his first Pirates salary to buy soccer balls so he could continue his training by himself. Siya is of that quality. Sangweni is of the same ilk as the likes of Jomo Sono and Kaizer Motaung in how he stands out, as a player and as a person.

“Sangweni’s leadership is not of many words. When he speaks, he speaks soundly and earnestly. He speaks with his actions. We spoke to the team this morning, so it has been an emotional time to say goodbye to a great player like him.

“Siya formed part of a formidable defensive pair with Lucky Lekgwathi, that holds defensive records at this Club. Sangweni leaves this Club with no enemies. His stature in this Club is in tact. He is a leader,” said Khoza.

Said Sangweni: “I’d like to thank the Lord for giving me the ability to play and also for granting me all I’ve asked in my career. I want to thank my team, those that found me here and those I met.

“Thank you for respecting and working with me. I’d like the players to look to Thabo Matlaba, and follow in how he commits to the game. He gives everything on the pitch. To the youngsters, always remember that when you come here you have come to work. Not to mess around. Listen, learn, apply.” 

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