Cape Town - Kaizer Motaung has paid tribute to Siphiwe Tshabalala following his move to Erzurumspor in Turkey after almost 12 years of service to the Glamour Boys.
Motaung revealed that Tshabalala falls in a category of special players to have donned the black and gold colours of the club.
The Chiefs chairman likened the midfielder to Ace Ntsoelengoe, Teenage Dladla, Doctor Khumalo, Neil Tovey and Thabo Mooki, who all enjoyed successful and long careers with the Soweto giants.
Tshabalala made almost 400 appearances since joining Amakhosi from Free State Stars.
"I am very happy for Siphiwe Tshabalala to have joined Turkish club BB Erzurumspor," Motaung told the club's official website.
"This is a great opportunity for Shabba as it was always his dream to play abroad, even if it happens now somewhat late in his career. In my opinion, he could in fact have gone to Europe earlier.
"I have no doubt that he is up to standard for the Turkish Super Lig and that he has at least two to three years left to play at that level.
"It is very impressive these days that a player plays so many games for one club. Shabba has played 372 games for Amakhosi and scored 58 goals. That is quite remarkable.
"He belongs to that true group of former Chief players, such as Ace Ntsoelengoe, Teenage Dladla, Doctor Khumalo, Neil Tovey and Thabo Mooki – all of whom made a significant contribution to the club. Shabba was also one of those distinct left-footers, like Isaac Kungwane.
"Shabba was exemplary in how he handled himself and how loyal he was to Kaizer Chiefs. He will always be a member of the Kaizer Chiefs family and when he returns from overseas he will still have a role to play at the club."