Retired former Orlando Pirates star Mark Mayambela has tipped his young brother Mihlali to make a breakthrough to Bafana Bafana after a fine run in Portugal, writes Otis Ntshangase.
The 25-year-old is a key player for Portuguese second-tier side SC Farense and has attracted interest from other teams abroad. However, the speedy winger is yet to taste international football, but his brother, who hung his boots recently, believes it’s only a matter of time.
“I believe the boy is doing well and has settled in Portugal. He’s getting better and better, improving in each and every game, and he’s scoring goals,” Mayambela told FARPost.
“For me, he’s heading in the right direction; there are signs that he can improve and do better in future. His fitness is in incredible shape.”
Mihlali cut his football teeth at Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates before scouts spotted him at the Bayhill Tournament in Cape Town. He was yet to make his PSL break at the time.
“Mihlali attracted the attention of many local and international teams when he was playing in the Bayhill Cup in Cape Town. He was named the player of the tournament because of his displays on the pitch,” Mayambela added.
“He chose Europe because of competition and to get experience. He has played in Sweden, Israel, and now he’s in Portugal.”
Perhaps his absence from the local scene has robbed him of the opportunity to don the national team jersey at any level despite his immense talent. But Mayambela has advised him to stay focused and keep working hard.
“He has to keep focused on his game and maintain his good attitude. I believe that if he keeps improving, his chance will come, and he will be honoured to play.”
Since the start of the 2021/22 season, Mihlali has made 28 appearances for Farense in all competitions scoring three goals and providing one assist.