Bafana star: Siphiwe Tshabalala

2010-04-15 00:00

SIPHIWE Tshabalala is a player for the big occasions. And they don’t come a lot bigger than the 2010 World Cup on home soil for Bafana Bafana.

That’s why the skilful Kaizer Chiefs winger is earmarked as a key player for Bafana when the World Cup kicks off with its opening game between South Africa and Mexico at Soccer City on June 11.

Put Tshabalala in a less meaningful friendly, such as the 1-1 draw against Namibia at Moses Mabhida Stadium in late May, and he can appear uninterested and lethargic.

Even in Bafana’s 1-1 friendly draw against Paraguay in Asuncion at the end of last month, the left-winger was hardly in the game before suddenly finding space in the 71st minute and letting loose a screamer to score the South Africans’ equaliser.

In a similar manner, Tshabalala scored from a curling effort from range when he came on as a substitute to earn Bafana a 2-1 victory over Norway at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, in a friendly under Joel Santana in 2009.

Even when he appears out of the game, Tshabalala has the skills and creative ability to produce a moment of magic that can turn a match.

But put the Chiefs wing in a big game, and he invariably produces a performance that has world-class stamped all over it.

That was the case in the narrow 1-0 Confederations Cup semi-final defeat against Brazil at Ellis Park last year. Having played a bit role in the tournament until then, the Chiefs midfielder was given a starting role by Santana and put in an inspired display against the Selecao’s renowned right-back Maicon, including a free kick that had goalkeeper Julio Cesar at full stretch.

These are the qualities that will make Tshabalala a vital creative player for 2010. To ram home his value, the winger was Bafana’s form player in the recently completed training camp in Brazil. Apart from his effort against Paraguay, Tshabalala was banging in goals left, right and centre in the training games against Brazilian first division teams, notching up five strikes in eight games.

The midfielder has always looked like a player who would feature at 2010, since his emergence at Free State Stars in 2005. Having earlier been a Chiefs youth product, Tshabalala was signed back by Amakhosi in 2007 from relegated Stars.

This was after he had been called up to Bafana by Ted Dumitru for the 2006 African Nations Cup in Egypt. Tshabalala also played a crucial role in a vital Afcon qualifying away win over Zambia under Pitso Mosimane that year, a game that was watched by current Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira just before he took the reigns for his first stint in charge.

Tshabalala faces competition on the wings from Turkish-based Elrio van Heerden and Mamelodi Sundowns’ Franklin Cale, but is set to play a major role at 2010 for Bafana in one form or another.


Full name: Lawrence Siphiwe Tshabalala

Date of birth: September 25, 1984

Age: 25

Place of birth: Soweto, South Africa

Height: 1,70 m

Playing position: Left-winger

Current club: Kaizer Chiefs

Previous clubs: Alexandra United, Free State Stars

National team: 2006–, South Africa, 40 caps, four goals

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Graphic Designer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Creative Sourcing
R7 000 - R9 000 Per Month

Junior Chef

Century City
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R8 000 - R9 000 Per Month

CSR Inbound

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
O'Brien Recruitment
R14 000 - R16 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.