Bafana hunk sets sights on Europe

By Drum Digital
14 July 2010

HE HAS barely set foot on the pavement when a group of female office workers recognise him and rush towards him, chanting his name at the top of their voices: “Khumalo! Khumalo!”

With a slightly sheepish smile he puts down his bags and proceeds to hug each of them – much to their continued noisy delight. Finally the girls move off and the hunky star of South African soccer picks up his bags and sets off down the street again.

“It’s amazing,” Bongani Khumalo tells us, shaking his head in wonder.

“Since the World Cup so many people recognise me – people of all races. It’s humbling when they come up and congratulate you and shout your name in the streets.”

The dreadlocked 23-year-old defender became an instant hero after scoring that memorable header in the game against France in the World Cup. Now it seems it’s only a matter of time before a contract materialises and he jets off to Europe to test his skill on the international circuit. Bongani’s manager, Glyn Birkin, has been busy fielding enquiries from overseas clubs in the past few weeks.

“There has been lots of interest from across Europe,” Glyn says. “I obviously can’t disclose the names of the teams as that might jeopardise the process.”

Bongani admits he’s flattered by the interest being shown in him. “I’d love to play overseas,” he says. “In fact, it’s my goal now – to have a successful European career and help build on what Bafana has developed.”

It’s the kind of level-headed response we’ve come to expect from a player who is being tipped as a future Bafana captain, having just successfully led his club, SuperSport United, to two successive league championships.

But he dismisses talk about the Bafana captaincy. “It’s too early for that,” he says adamantly.

Read the full article in the Drum of 22 July 2010

Find Love!