Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs legend Doctor ’16v’ Khumalo has finally addressed the debate around Mamelodi Sundowns talisman Themba Zwane.
Zwane is arguably the greatest midfielder in South Africa of his generation and overall in the modern Premier Soccer League history.
Not only does his talent and list of accolades back him up but his longevity and consistency make for a strong claim as at the age of 33, he returned to the Bafana squad after Hugo Broos initially ruled him out as being too old.
With 79 goals and 56 assists in 391 games for Sundowns, the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winner Khumalo, who many suggest is the greatest South African player of all time feels the comparisons are unfair.
“You can’t compare Themba to me, or vice versa – the era is not the same, let’s not be unreasonable. Personally, I strongly believe this boy has done so much, he’s one of the best players of his generation,” he said on the latest podcast, with 10bet South Africa.
“I remember when I said to you, why doesn’t the national team have Jali and Themba – before Hugo Broos’ called him, I said we needed these players. And there he is, he’s the first guy the coach talks about. But we’re not here for politics.
“But when I talk [about] Themba, when I interact with him, he’s a man of a few words, he’ll [great and say] ‘it’s good to see you’, that’s all. He’s like when I look at you, see you and shake your hand I get goosebumps, he doesn’t say much.
“I can tell it’s real, he doesn’t know what to do or say. And I’m like wow, what is it I’ve done to make this young man feel the way he feels. I’m so humbled, he’s genuine, firm and respectful with love in his greeting.
“Only once has he asked, I think we were in Tembisa, he asked ‘where do you think I can improve my game’, only once, he doesn’t say much [when we meet].”
Doctor Khumalo still believes that some South African Midfielders can still reach the level of Themba Zwane who has been sensational since playing in the Premier Soccer league and before playing in the Premier Soccer league.