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Pirates prospect names Sundowns star Themba Zwane as his role model

A young and promising star from Orlando Pirates has identified a player from their arch-rivals, Mamelodi Sundowns, Themba Zwane, as his role model.

Affectionately known as ‘Mshishi’ within football circles, Zwane has established himself as a crucial player for both his club, Sundowns, and country – Bafana Bafana.

His consistent performances, influential leadership, and significant contributions to both teams have solidified his position as a key figure in SA football.

In his marvellous career, the 34-year-old has scored 79 goals and registered 44 assists in 391 appearances for Sundowns. Meanwhile, for his national team, Mshishi netted nine goals and assisted once in 42 caps.

Zwane, who’s one of the most important figures in Broos’ squad, has scored two goals for Bafana at the ongoing AFCON showpiece in Cote D’Ivoire.

Zwane has won numerous individual accolades at club level and has won plenty of trophies, including seven DStv Premiership titles and the CAF Champions League.

The Tembisa-born star’s career has been on a meteoric rise. His invaluable contributions to South African football have secured his place as a cherished and admired figure for countless fans.


Orlando Pirates star Azola Tshobeni
Azola Tshobeni

When Tshobeni, Pirates’ great attacking hope for the future, was asked to name the footballer he looks up to most in SA, the 21-year-old picked Zwane.

“We have got many superstars in South Africa whom I really admire, but I can choose Themba Zwane as my role model,” Tshobeni told FARPost.

“I am not looking to play like him because I have my style of play, but he’s the kind of player I like. He makes things look simple. He’s a good person, a decorated player. His behaviour says it all. I think that’s why he’s still going strong. So everyone likes someone like that. He is a good role model.”

Tshobeni, who can play as an attacking midfielder, up front, or a winger, has broken into the Pirates first-team in 2020 after making a significant impact at the club’s development side.

However, after he struggled for game time, the Buccaneers saw it important to loan him to gain some confidence and experience to compete in the DStv Premiership.

The 21-year-old young star is now plying his trade at the second-tier league club JDR Stars. He joined the Hammer Boys on loan from the Soweto giants in 2020.

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By Clifton Mabasa

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