Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has bestowed legendary status upon club captain Hlompo Kekana.
Mngqithi says the midfielder has earned the title for his contribution to South African football and the dedication he has shown to all the clubs he has played for during his long football career.
Kekana was again nominated for this year’s Fifa Puskas Award after scoring one his trademark long-range goals.
The former City Pillars midfielder is no stranger to a Puskas nomination has one of his long range strikes for Bafana Bafana in an Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Cameroon also earned him the nod for the global goal gong.
Kekana beat Cape Town City goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh from a long way out for what was the second goal for the Pretoria club in a league match in the 2019/2020 season.
When unmarked by the opposition Kekana in the middle of the field the Sundowns skipper unlashes a fierce shot that hits the back of the net.
Kekana is one of 11 nominees this year for scoring a spectacular goal in an official football match. Three seasons ago Baroka FC goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke was shortlisted for the top three nominees for the award but unfortunately lost out to French striker Olivier Giroud.
Mngqithi says the Zebediela-born midfielder Kekana lives for football and it doesn’t come as a surprise to the when he gets nominated for Fifa’s international awards.
“It would be sad if Hlompho didn’t get this kind of recognition because he scores goals of this magnitude for all the clubs he has played for and I think we need to show all of the goals he scored throughout his career over the years, every season he scores a goal like that,” said Mngqithi, reacting to Kekana’s Puskas nomination.
“It sends a good message that if you give yourself to the game, you give it the best … it will give something back to you,” Mngqithi continued.
“I wish Hlompho gets one of these awards he is nominated for, he is a machine he works very hard. He has been a very influential player for this team. He has led us with goals in the Champions league, he has scored so many important goals for us and lifted about 11 trophies for us – that is a legend that deserves respect. But it is more sweet when he gets the recognition from outside, he is worthy of all these glorious moments he is getting.”