Cape Town City’s Matthew Rusike seems to have channelled his inner Nicolas Anelka as he marked his return to South Africa with a debut goal and Nedbank Cup progression.
Check out Rusike's debut in the gallery above
The former Kaizer Chiefs attacker became Benni McCarthy’s latest signing last month as he completed a move to the Mother City on deadline day, and it didn’t take him long to get on the scoresheet for his new employers, in 83 seconds, in fact.
After sorting out his paperwork this week, McCarthy threw Rusike into the starting line-up against Bidvest Wits on Wednesday evening, with the Zimbabwean going on to score the winning goal as the Clever Boys were down for the fourth time this season.
“I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone, I can tell you that,” he told the Siya crew afterwards. “I’m not playing with any pressure.”
Rusike wheeled away from goal with Anelka’s number 39 on his back and the Frenchman’s iconic butterfly celebration across his chest after rising to head home Teko Modise’s pinpoint cross, signalling his return to Mzansi. However, he says that he’s not the same player that left the Amakhosi in 2015.
He said, “Of course it’s nice to score, but I don’t want to say that I’m ‘reintroducing myself to South African football’ or anything like that. I think I’ve come back a different player with lots more experience. I’ve taken good and bad from wherever I’ve gone, and I think it was the right move for me to come back.”
Spells in Sweden and Tunisia with Halmstads, Helsingborg and Club Africain have meant a lot of growing up for the former Jomo Cosmos man, and he clearly thinks that Cape Town is where he’s meant to be right now. The presence of McCarthy and Modise helped, too.
“I think it’s a good project here at Cape Town City,” he added. “It came out of the blue, but to play for Benni was a big drawcard for me. And Teko too, you saw his assist for my goal. If I have that quality every week then I’ll score every week. I just need delivery like that.”
While he wouldn’t reveal the reason behind his homage to ‘Le Sulk’, he will certainly be hoping that City’s fans are seeing plenty more butterflies before the season comes to an end.