Khaya Ndubane

Compiled by Khaya Ndubane

Digital Manager Phakaaathi

Shabba and Stiga’s XI from treble-winning Sundowns and Pirates

Shabba and Stiga pick a combined XI between the 2011 Pirates and 2022 Sundowns.

Winning the prestigious Nedbank Cup is one of the ultimate achievements for South African football players.

ALSO READ: Ribeiro hopeful of making Nedbank Cup final against Pirates

The feat is so coveted that two legends of the game, Siphiwe “Shabba” Tshabalala and Stanton “Stiga” Fredericks, regard the trophy as the pinnacle of domestic knockout success.

Now, only two clubs remain and they are now poised for glory as they prepare for the 2024 Nedbank Cup final.

Among them is current league champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, who have their eyes set on a victory against current title-holders, Orlando Pirates, at Mbombela Stadium on 01 June.

Sundowns and Pirates have each lifted the Nedbank Cup as the final momentous victory in a domestic ‘treble’ season. They are the only two teams to have achieved this incredible feat since 2008.

Pirates did it in the 2010/11 season when they defeated 2nd-tier Black Leopards 3–1 in the Nedbank Cup decider in Nelspruit, while Sundowns beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1–0 at the Orlando Stadium to complete a treble in the 2019/20 season.

Sundowns repeated the feat in 2022 as they defeated Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) 2–1 at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in the Nedbank Cup Final.

‘Winning a treble is a big achievement, and both teams had a great squad with strong leadership, especially in players like Lucky Lekgwathi, – the 1st Pirates captain to win the treble twice,’ Tshabalala says.

ALSO READ: Wounded Pirates looking for redemption against Galaxy

Stiga, former Kaizer Chiefs, Pirates and Bidvest Wits winger, added: ‘We speak about the quality that Sundowns possessed in that 2022 side and it makes me think of how they replace quality with quality [every season].’

Watch Shabba and Stiga talk Nedbank Cup

So what would a combined XI between the 2011 Pirates and 2022 Sundowns sides look like according to these former Bafana Bafana stars?

Here is their selection:

Goalkeeper: Senzo Meyiwa (Pirates)

In his illustrious tenure with Pirates, the late Senzo Meyiwa was renowned for his heroic saves and leadership qualities. Meyiwa helped Pirates to 2 Nedbank Cup triumphs in 2011 and 2014, etching his name in history. His legacy still lives on.

Right-back: Khuliso Mudau (Sundowns)

A mainstay of Masandawana, Khuliso Mudau, is a symbol of raw talent and patience. Known for his versatility and skill, Mudau has been a key figure in the success of Sundowns over the past 2 seasons – particularly in domestic competitions where his impact has been immense. His contributions have solidified his status as a Bafana Bafana stalwart.

Centre-back: Lucky Lekgwathi (Pirates)

Lucky Lekgwathi, a beacon of resilience and leadership, led Pirates to numerous triumphs, including memorable victories in the Nedbank Cup 2011 and 2014 seasons. His defensive prowess contributed to the success of Pirates, earning him admiration and respect.

Centre-back: Happy Jele (Pirates)

Happy Jele, a defensive stalwart for Pirates, epitomises consistency and dedication. Throughout his career Jele has been a key figure in the success of Pirates. He contributed to 2 Nedbank Cup titles for the club and played over 400 games across all competitions.

Left-back: Lyle Lakay (Sundowns)

Lyle Lakay’s time at Sundowns was defined by his impactful performances. Being such a versatile player, Lakay played a crucial role in the success of Sundowns in the 2022 Nedbank Cup, contributing to the memorable victory and leaving a lasting legacy in South African football. He could add another title this season with his new team, SuperSport United.

Right wing: Gastón Sirino (Sundowns)

Gastón Sirino has been a standout performer for Sundowns for 6 seasons now, dazzling fans with his skill and creativity on the field. Sirino played a crucial role in Sundowns’ 2020 Nedbank Cup winning season, scoring the winning goal against Bloemfontein Celtic in the final match. He lifted the trophy again 2 years later. His dynamic displays and ability to unlock defences continue to make him a fan favourite.

Central midfielders: Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa (both Pirates)

Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa formed a legendary midfield duo for Pirates, dominating South African football. As a duo, they won multiple titles and lifted the Nedbank Cup, triumphing in 2011. Manyisa played for the winning team again in 2014. Their partnership is celebrated as defining a golden era in Pirates’ history.

Left wing: Tlou Segolela (Pirates)

Tlou Segolela was a dynamic force for Pirates, known for his blistering pace and flair on the pitch. His contributions were instrumental in the Soweto giant’s triumphant treble-winning season in 2011, which included securing the Nedbank Cup title.

Forward: Ndumiso Mabena (Pirates)

Ndumiso Mabena will always be revered by the Pirates faithful as he was part of their 2011 and 2014 Nedbank Cup wins before he left the club for successful spells elsewhere, only to return in 2023 and watch the side lift the trophy for a 3rd time.

Forward: Peter Shalulile (Sundowns)

Sha-Sha! The Namibian goal-scoring machine, Peter Shalulile, has been consistently prolific for Sundowns and is not only the club’s joint top-scorer in the Nedbank Cup, but also the all-time leading marksman since 2008 with 14 goals, 3 of them in the colours of Highlands Park.

Watch Shabba and Stiga make selection