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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

I sold three of the four cars I had, says former Pirates and Sundowns midfielder

Modise was paying R22 000 a month for a car.

As clichéd as it may sound, there is still a major problem with soccer players when it comes to finance, something South African football legend Teko Modise says he experienced during his playing days.

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Modise was one of the best players in his time, earning a high salary having played at Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.

But, with a huge salary came a lot of bad decisions for the star midfielder, who played for Bafana Bafana during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Modise says there were lots of wrong financial decisions he made, but he ended up making things right when he moved to the Western Cape to play for Cape Town City.

“I downgraded my lifestyle, and by that I mean I scaled down on what I was spending. I got a smaller apartment, I sold three of the four cars I had and instead of blowing R50 000 on sneakers, I would just get one pair. But people started whispering that I no longer had money and as a result I had just one friend left,” revealed Modise, who was a Nedbank Cup ambassador this season.

High roller

“That’s why I was able to adjust to moving to Cape Town City – what I earned there compared to my salary at Mamelodi Sundowns was chalk and cheese. I was one of the highest earners at Sundowns and with bonuses, I could still survive when I joined a new club. I learned the hard way.”

The former midfielder says there was a point when he felt depressed during his playing days. And spending his money was his way of trying to fill the void.

Lesson learned

But, he says what he did back then was wrong, however, he has learnt his lesson.

“In football we don’t talk about coping with depression. I went and bought a car because I was depressed. I felt the need to be loved and accepted. A wiser me wouldn’t go and buy material things to make myself feel good. That was a bad decision,” he admits.

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“I thought the financial flexibility I had would fill the void. It was about trying to belong. I had no business buying a car that cost me R22 000 a month. But the best education is experience. What I had done taught me a lot about finances in general.”

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