Mamelodi Sundowns defender Motjeka Madisha has endured his fair share of criticism this past season. Despite this, he rose above his critics to become a key component of Sundowns’ treble-winning season.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane needs to be lauded for his continued faith showed in the young defender. Errors against Bidvest Wits, which could have cost them the Nedbank Cup as well as a lapse in concentration that saw Downs drop two points against Highlands Park in an airtight Absa Premiership clash was enough to relegate any player to the bench.
However, Mosimane maintained his faith in Madisha by fielding him in the next match and it is this very faith that paid off when the 25-year-old pulled off arguably one of the tackles of the season against Orlando Pirates in a chance that had goal written all over it until Madisha’s timely intervention.
Statistically, Mosimane’s faith in the Bafana Bafana defender has been vindicated. Despite being one of the younger members of Sundowns squad, Madisha has made the most appearances of any Sundowns player in the 2019/20 season, featuring an impressive 46 times in the 52 matches played by the Brazilians.
Motjeka played every single minute of Downs’ CAF Champions League campaign and missed just two Absa Premiership matches for the eventual champions.
Even more impressive about the steely center back’s season is his achievement of not picking up a single booking all season. No red or yellow cards could blemish his perfect record.
This impressive statistic does not in any way suggest that Madisha pulls out of any challenges. His tactical awareness and intelligent positioning have more often than not meant that he could dispossess strikers without getting his hands dirty.
In addition, what he lacks for pace he makes up in heart. The defender gave an emotional post-match interview after picking up back-to-back Man of the Match awards, despite fighting personal battles earlier in the season.
At the age of 25, Madisha's trophy rack is stacking up and Pitso Mosimane will be banking on Madisha for many years to come as his side continue to pursue domestic and continental dominance.