Siphiwe Tshabalala made a milestone 200th appearance for Kaizer Chiefs during the club's 2-0 victory over Free State Stars this past Saturday (November 30). The player is currently nearing seven years of service for the Glamour Boys after joining Chiefs back in 2007 from Free State Stars.
Ironically, it was against his former team where he racked up his double century of appearances for Amakhosi. 'Shabba' is now 29 and will be nearing his 30th birthday next year which can often be a time when a players legs begin to slow down.
However, in his landmark 200th appearance, Tshabalala gave a virtuoso all-round display. Our exclusive Soccer-Laduma stats from that match indicate that 'Shabba' tormented Stars from start to finish with his pace and movement.
The attacking midfielder assisted Siyabonga Nkosi's diving header before recording a goal for himself in the second half. He was heavily involved in Chiefs' build-up play and completed an impressive 27 of his 35 passes attempted (77% success rate).
He was also relentless in attacking Stars' goal - the player had five shots on goal of which three hit the target. His appetite for the dirty work also saw him win three out of three tackles as well as four out of six ground duels.
Even as Tshabalala enters the later stages of his career, it appears he is still going strong for Chiefs. After his historic 200th cap for the club, Shabba thanked his family and fans for their ongoing support over the years.
He told the club's official website, "This is all achieved because of the love that continues to surround me. I have my family backing and the supporters have shown me love wherever I go and at every touch of the ball."
'Shabba' also opened up about how his career all started at the very beginning, "I wish to also thank Free State Stars for laying the foundation for my growth. They gave me a break in professional football. Before I joined Stars, I went through the stages of development U15 and U17 at Chiefs. I trained and played under different Coaches at Chiefs' juniors including long serving Chiefs legend Ryder Mofokeng at U19s. I only trained with the U19s but had to sacrifice my progress at Chiefs for the sake of education. I was still at Seana Marena Secondary School in Mapetla, Soweto. Training was clashing with school times and I decided to go for school,”
The nimble-footed number 14 also expressed his gratitude to everyone who helped him reach his 200th milestone for the club, "I would like to thank Chiefs, the players and the coaches past and present. These are the people that make me tick. I was happy to score the goal on Saturday. The goal meant a lot to me. I celebrated by touching my heart with the right hand, made a heart with my hands and with two fingers, I pointed to the sky. The celebration is thanking God and in memory of my late mother.”