Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Michaelson Gumede
2 minute read
2 Feb 2020
8:13 am

Pitso reminisces of how Zungu ‘cried’ when he converted him into a holding midfielder

Michaelson Gumede

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane could not hide his excitement from the news that his former star player, Bongani Zungu, has joined Spanish side Real Mallorca on loan from Amiens SC until the end of the season.

Bongani Zungu during the South African national men's soccer team press conference. (Photo by Gallo Images)

Mosimane says he bought Zungu from the University of Pretoria as a youngster who was playing on the wing and often as an attacking midfielder. But for the 27-year-old Bafana international to reach his full potential, “Jingles” figured he should switch his position to a more central role at the heart of the park.

“I just remember when I bought him from AmaTuks, he was playing in the right as a winger and he was playing as a number 10 and I said to him no, he must change and play as a number six (central midfielder). Bongani Zungu cried and said ‘no I can’t play as a six, I am an attacker’,” said Mosimane.

“I told him if he wants to go to Europe and be a big star, he must change his position. And he said no coach but I convinced him and put him there. Now he is moving three clubs playing as a number six.

“It is the same thing that I did with Siboniso Gaxa, I said he is too short to play as a center-back, he must play as a right back. We have changed a lot of players, Thapelo Morena [Rivaldo Coetzee]… sometimes we are right and sometimes we are not but that is how it is,” Mosimane added.

Zungu will be the first South African to ply his trade in the Spanish La Liga after Tshepo Masilela, who turned out for Getafe.

“It is very good for us, we will see him there. The last time we had a player in La Liga was Tsepho Masilela and it was beautiful to watch him play against Barcelona and Real Madrid. The only guy who gave us that was Percy Tau in the Uefa Champions League. What a good story, hopefully, we should win the Caf Champions League and the Thapelos and Lebogang Maboes can also follow suit.”

 

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