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Why Dan Malesela believes Xola Mlambo is misunderstood

Dan ‘Dance’ Malesela has relived how he got Xola Mlambo dancing during his time at Chippa United

Mlambo, now with TS Galaxy, last week told FARPost that his best spells in the PSL were at Chippa and Orlando Pirates. The Soweto-born star describes Malesela as his father whose coaching and style he enjoyed.

“Yi timer, lelo, we come a long way,” Mlambo told FARPost. In equal measure, Malesela enjoyed watching the then-rookie Mlambo blossom for the Chilli Boys.


“Xola Mlambo, right now, I still maintain that people don’t understand him. They don’t understand where he is more effective, and I know. I’m not gonna say because I know people are gonna use him against me,” Malesela told FARPost.

“There’s a particular place where he needs to be in matches. That’s where you can see how he is a star. If you can look back at some of the clips from Chippa United and where I was playing him, you’ll understand.

Xola Mlambo during a training session at TS Galaxy
Xola Mlambo during a training session at TS Galaxy

“If I were to get him now in my team, he’ll be a regular immediately,” added Malesela.

While Malesela would not say how he deployed Mlambo, the talented midfielder revealed the role he played.

“It was a different role [he played me in] depending on what system we were playing. I was more of the freedom player. I didn’t have much responsibility when it came to the defensive side of things, but I would help,” explained Mlambo.


“As much as you know your role is a creative midfielder, you’re playing in creative areas and making goal-scoring opportunities and score.

He added that it helped that Thami Sangweni and Buyani Sali did all the dirty work in midfield, leaving him to create opportunities for the forwards.

Malesela admitted he sometimes complains about players he has previously coached when they seemingly struggle elsewhere. 

“It’s because I trouble myself to understand them,” the Marumo Gallants coach concluded.

RELATED STORY: The two clubs where Xola Mlambo enjoyed his football the most

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