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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist


Maema reveals why he would never join Orlando Pirates

"One team I didn't want to go to was (Orlando) Pirates," he said.


While it might be a dream for most South African footballers to play for either Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates, that is not the case with Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Neo Maema.

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Maema made the weird confession during the club’s popular pitchside podcast recently and also revealed why he never wished to play for one of the Soweto giants Pirates.

He was on the books of Bloemfontein Celtic when the public took notice of his undeniable talent. It was only a matter of time before big clubs came knocking for his signature.

The 28-year-old made the switch to the Brazilians in 2021. He revealed that before his move to Chloorkop, players from the ‘Big Three’ were urging him to join their teams.

“It was not just Sundowns players, but also (Kaizer) Chiefs players (who urged him to sign for them) but the one team I didn’t want to go to was (Orlando) Pirates,” he said.

“From an early age, I don’t know if it’s my spirit or what but it doesn’t feel okay with the team. I think that was one team that even when I didn’t see an opportunity that I would make it to a big team, that was one team that I didn’t want to play for,” Maema added.

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Maema reiterated his feelings when pressed if he still feels the same way about the Buccaneers all these years later.

“Yes, I still feel the same way. That thing doesn’t feel the same now because I’m fully invested on Mamelodi Sundowns,” he added.

“I don’t even think about other teams but the tricky part is that my family, most of them are Pirates fans.”

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