Former Bafana Bafana midfield-cum-striker, Sibusiso Zuma, has spoken about the difficulties he had when his football career started, before he became the star he is to thousands of fans from South Africa and around the world.
Rhee, as the blonde-haired player is known in football circles, recently announced his official retirement from professional football, in an interview with Soccer Laduma this week.
“You probably won’t understandwhat I’m saying now. Where I’m from… to get an opportunity to have just played professional football… that was a blessing. I’m from the middle of nowhere in the bushes outside Durban. Just to get a chance to play for African Wanderers and then to move to
Orlando Pirates (Zuma sighs deeply)…for me that was huge! I always tell these young guys, “If you ever get an opportunity to play for Bucs, Chiefs or Bafana, you need to bring your A-game every single day! There’ll always be some young guy in the township that will want to take your place one day.”
“Dave, I used to play on a pitchwith no grass. It was just gravel. I didn’t have boots and was playing with bare feet. One day my best friend’s father bought him boots. He was left footed, so he gave me his right boot to play with.
"When I started playing serious football later, my father bought me my own pair and I had problems! I couldn’t use both because I’d played for so long with only one boot. I had problems playing with two shoes! (Laughing) Oh, it was amazing… I came from rocks and gravel, man.
"(Zuma pauses) There were so many from my township who never made it. To have played for Pirates, Bafana and to have gone overseas (Rhee’s voice cracks with emotion)… it was justamazing,” said Zuma.
For more on Zuma’s incredible and successful career, get the latest copy of Soccer Laduma, which is in stores this week.