Legendary midfielder Modise hangs up his boots

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CAPE TOWN, May 10 – After a stellar career in which he won every major club honour available, Cape Town City and former Bafana Bafana midfielder Teko Modise announced his retirement on Friday.

Modise is among a couple of the most highly-decorated players in the PSL, with three domestic league titles, and winners’ medals in the CAF Champions League, Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout, MTN8 (twice) all under his belt.

He also represented Bafana Bafana with much distinction, earning 66 caps and scoring 10 goals for the national team between 2007 and 2012, during which time he played in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2010 World Cup.

Now 36-years-old, Modise made a late start to top flight football: it was only after starring for First Division side City Pillars in the 2005/ 06 season, when he scored 15 goals from midfield and won the Mvela Golden League Player of the Season award, that he earned a move to SuperSport United – at the age of 24.

Such was his impact that just one year later, he found himself playing for Soweto giants Orlando Pirates.

In his six seasons with the Buccaneers, ‘The General’ or ‘The Navigator’ was twice named as the Premier Soccer League’s Player of the Season. Blessed with great skill and creativity, and an eye for goal, he helped the Sea Robbers win the league in the 2010/ 11 campaign, and the MTN8 cup in 2010.

An overseas move had seemed on the cards, but instead the Soweto-born midfield maestro swapped Pirates for Tshwane big-hitters Mamelodi Sundowns, where his success continued with two further domestic league titles, a Nedbank Cup winners’ medal, and in 2016, the CAF Champions League title – completing a full sweep of club honours.

After six years with Masandawana, Modise began a fresh challenge with the newly-formed Cape Town City in 2017. He didn’t play as frequently as earlier in his career, but provided crucial experience, and star power, to the ambitious young club, and helped them win the MTN8 competition earlier this season.

City confirmed his retirement on Friday, also adding that Modise is likely to stay on at the club in a new capacity.

“Teko Modise will play his last game on Saturday as he bids farewell to the game. CTCFC would like to thank him for everything he has given to the club and South African football,” the Cape outfit stated.

“Teko Modise is part of CTCFC and we will announce his new role in the near future. Teko Modise will get proper farewell in the form of a very special Testimonial Football Match.”

For the well-loved player, who has been such a household name in South African soccer for over a decade, it was with mixed emotions that he announced his retirement, via a video on Twitter.

“Going to training today, it was different, even though I use the same route that I take every day, when I got there I didn’t know whether to laugh, smile or to cry.” he said.

“I always wanted to be a professional footballer, it was the only place where I’m happy and when I started growing up and getting recognised, I wanted to be Doctor Khumalo of this era.

“I knew that one day this day will come and I can say that I have achieved everything that I wanted to achieve as a footballer. I just hope that in a couple of years from now someone will be sitting right here will be able to say that they got inspired by my career path.”

Modise’s last appearance will be on Saturday, when City play Black Leopards in Thohoyandou. (ANA)