What is Siphiwe Tshabalala Doing Now?

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Siphiwe Tshabalala is remembered for his 2010 FIFA World Cup goal on home soil against Mexico. That said, he’s been around South African football for a long time, having played for some of the biggest clubs in the country and the national team Bafana Bafana. 

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As of 2023, he’s 38 years old, but Tshabalala insists he’s not retiring. What’s he up to? 

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Is Siphiwe Tshabalala Still Playing Football? 

The last team that Tshabalala played for was the AmaZulu in 2022. He’s been without a club and insists he’s not retired from football. Speaking to News24.com in 2022, he maintained that he was an active player.

“Yeah, I’ve not retired yet. I’m still an active soccer player. I got an opportunity to play abroad but I didn’t entertain it. I’ve shifted focus back home because there’s more I need to achieve her. I’ll continue searching.”

So why hasn’t he joined a club yet, and will fans see him playing soon? Here’s what Tshabalala told Sunday World.

“I’m at a level where I can choose where I want to play. I wouldn’t want to play for the sake of playing. I don’t take anything that comes my way. I’m not desperate. When I retire, I will tell you.” Tshabalala said.

“I’m still training and I still play matches once a week. I’m very active and still fit to play. I still love football and love playing the sport.” he told South African publisher Sunday World.

Tshabalala has landed a couple of ambassadorial roles. In 2023, he was unveiled as one of the Nedbank Cup ambassadors.

He also runs his foundation, Siphiwe Tshabalala Foundation, through which he gives back to the community by organizing football tournaments. Recently, it held the Siphiwe Tshabalala Foundation Soccer Tournament that ran between June 24 and July 16. 

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Who is Siphiwe Tshabalala?

Siphiwe Tshabalala’s full name is Lawrence Siphiwe Dambuza Tshabalala. He was born on 25 September 1984 in Soweto, South Africa. His footballing career started at Free State Stars, where he made 64 appearances and scored 31 goals.

This earned him a place in the Kaizer Chiefs squad. He joined in 2007 but this wasn’t his first time at the club. He was in the youth team but left for another club. As part of the senior team, Tshabalala rose to become one of the most high-profile player at the club. 

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He made his debut against Bidvest Wits, a match Kaizer lost. His first goal in the golden black shirts of the Amakhosi came in a 4-2 victory against the Golden Arrows. Over the years, he played in the big matches – Soweto Derby and the continental games and the cup games, Telkom Knockout.

By the time he left the club, Tshabalala was reportedly amongst the highest-paid players in the club and was the second-highest scorer with 58 goals. He won the league with the team in 2012/13 and 2014/15. He also won other cups like the MTN 8, Nedbank Cup, Vodacom Challenge, and the Telkom Charity Cup.

Along with this, he won individual accolades like the Player of the Year in South Africa. 

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Tshabalala’s Shot Career in Europe

Tshabalala joined Turkish side BB Erzurumspor. However, he only spent a year at the club before he returned to South Africa. 

On his arrival, he revealed to SNL24.com that he was well treated. At the time, he played but towards his exit, the team got a new coach and he rarely got playing time. 

“The coach liked me. My name was on the team sheet but on match day, I was on the bench. That shocked me.” Tshabalala said.

Tshabalala felt undervalued. BB Erzurumspor was eventually relegated and wanted him back but the negotiations broke down. 

“You’d go for three months without a salary. You can’t leave home, go to another country and not get paid and not play. It was a tough situation but it strengthened me mentally. I was better off terminating the contract. 

AmaZulu signed him for a year but he didn’t get a lot of game time. He only played two games, with his last in October 2022.  

Will we ever see Siphiwe Tshabalala play at the highest level? While he remains hopeful, it’s a tricky situation for a 38-year-old. 

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