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Former Bafana star Sibusiso Zuma offers tips for SA players to thrive abroad

Former Bafana Bafana striker Sibusiso Zuma, with a wealth of experience playing abroad, has shared his insights for South African footballers hoping to make it overseas.

The retired attacker is one of the SA players who had a successful stint playing abroad. He moved abroad in the 2000/01 season. Zuma played for teams like FC Nordsjaelland, FC Copenhagen of Denmark, and Germany’s Arminia Bielefeld.

In SA, Zuma played for teams such as Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, the now-defunct Vasco Da Gama, and SuperSport United.

Abroad, the retired striker helped his respective teams to win five titles. He won four titles with FC Copenhagen: two Superliga titles, one Danish Cup and one Royal League Cup. With FC Nordsjaelland, he won one Danish Cup.

The 48-year-old also featured in Europe’s elite continental club football competition, the UEFA Champions League with FC Copenhagen, where he is considered a legend. Zuma, who was a household name in Denmark, was honoured with a statue at the Copenhagen stadium.

Sibusiso Zuma in action for Arminia Bielefeld in BundesLiga
Sibusiso Zuma in action for Arminia Bielefeld

Zuma ON How South African Footballers Can Succeed Overseas

Zuma gave an example of what he did to be successful during his time playing in Europe.

“When you are a striker, your main job on the pitch is to score goals. But there is a lot more that you should do for the team,” Zuma told FARPost.

“One has to track back when the team is under attack, mark when the team is out of possession, and defend where possible.

“I think I improved a lot on my defending. That’s the area I was lacking on as a player. When I went to Europe I was already ready for the new challenge that was ahead of me.

“I tried to be more consistent by scoring goals, and I was also trying to help the team by providing assists for my teammates where possible.

“In Europe you play so many matches, after every two to three days you play. If you don’t give the coach what he wants, they will find someone to do the job.”

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