Tag Archives: Pitso Mosimane

The Teko Modise Legacy

Last week, Teko Modise announced his retirement from football. His career has had many peaks and valleys. How did he become one of the most accomplished players in South African football?

This article was first posted on my blog on the 21st of January 2016. I’ve made a few changes.  I have added an additional subsection ‘The Last Hurrah’. Enjoy!

Last week Friday, I woke up later than I usually do, hopped onto to Twitter to see #TekoModise trending. I clicked on the hashtag and saw Cape Town City’s video of Teko Modise announcing his retirement:

https://twitter.com/CapeTownCityFC/status/1126728998417879046

This announcement got me recalling that time in 2016. I had been skimming through websites looking for something interesting to read and something good to plagiarize for my blog when I came across a Goal.com article titled: Feutmba: Mamelodi Sundowns cannot let Modise go.

Wait, what? Are Sundowns stalling on offering Teko Modise a new contract?

In the article Sundowns legend Roger Feutumba told Goal.com that:

“I think that considering his age and what he has achieved with Sundowns already, it will be a mistake for him to leave,”

He continued…

“Normally, it will also be a mistake for those managing Sundowns to let him go. So I believe that they will give him another contract and I believe he still has a lot to give to the team.

He is the good player, everybody knows about that, he has contributed a lot to the recent success of the team and can still do more.” 

I could not believe my ears (well, my eyeballs). How dare they? What gives Sundowns the right not to offer the living legend Teko Modise, the greatest footballer of our generation a new contract!?? Is this the thanks he gets for everything he has done for that club!!??

After a few seconds, I calmed down. I remembered that I’m quite biased when it comes to Teko Modise. He is my favourite player of all-time. Hence, I decided to do an extensive, thorough, but cost-effective survey on how South African football supporters feel about Teko Modise, and what they think his legacy will be when he hangs up his boots. So I asked five of my friends on WhatsApp.

Friend 1

Me: What do you think Teko Modise’s legacy will be when he retires?

Friend 1: I think he is a PSL legend. He hasn’t been on drugs, had any issues with alcohol abuse, isn’t broke (hopefully), and is an ambassador for the South African game.

Me: Will he be seen as one of the greatest to have ever played the game locally?

Friend 1: Of course, Teko Modise is a special player.

Friend 2

Me: What’s up bro! Last weekend party was wild, I think I had a blackout, I still got your jacket but it has some vomit stains on it, anyway… What do you think Teko Modise’s legacy will be when he retires?

Friend 2: He will be seen as a Sundowns legend.

Me: Will he be seen as one of the greatest to have ever played the game locally?

Friend 2: Locally? Yes.

Friend 3

Me: Yoh! What do you think Teko Modise’s legacy will be when he retires?

Friends 3: Ah, if they had to make a team of South African legends, he would definitely be in the starting XI.

Me: Will he be seen as one of the greatest to have ever played the game locally?

Friend 3: Yes.

Friend 4

Me: My brother, quick football question: what do you think Teko Modise’s legacy will be when he retires?

Friend 4: That’s a hard one…. Why the thought?

Me: I’m interested in what you, as a South African football supporter, think his legacy will be.

Friend 4: Well, he’s won most of what was available for him to win at Sundowns right?

Me: Yeah, but will he be in your ‘Top 10 South African Players of All-time‘?

Friend 4: Even though this person is far from a role model, I’d rather have Benedict Tso Vilakazi in my all-time South African starting XI as an attacking midfielder.

By this time, I realised I wasn’t going to get the answer I was looking for from Friend 4.

But the conversation continued…

Me: Are you telling me that Teko Modise isn’t among the best PSL players you’ve seen?

Friend 4: Well, 1) There are players who have won more league titles and silverware than him 2) there are players with more Bafana Bafana caps than him and 3) captained the national side more than him. Is he a star? , yes, but his achievements still flatter to deceive. And let’s be honest, he has only had three good seasons in his career (two at Orlando Pirates and one at Mamelodi Sundowns).

Friend 5

Me: Hi dude, what do you think Teko Modise’s legacy will be when he retires? And sorry about what happened with your girl last weekend, she wasn’t worth it anyway.

Friend 5: He is a megastar footballer. He is the best footballer of our generation. He is our Jabu Pule or Teenage Dladla. What happened to my girl?

Me: Hmm, Will he be seen as one of the greatest to have ever played the game locally? Uhm…

Friend 5: Yes, But his cup accomplishments are subpar so that could be a dark spot on his legendary status. So, what happened to my girl?

Me: Got you. Nevermind.

Results: 4 out of 5 South Africans think Teko Modise will retire a legend. Justice! Okay, this may have not been a thorough and demographically diverse survey but, these are die-hard football fans. The most ironic part of this is that ‘friend 4’ (Teko Modise hater) is the only Orlando Pirates (a club he enjoyed his best form with) supporter, the rest of are Kaizer Chiefs (a team he has tormented in the past) supporters so they are in no way bias.


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Teko Modise: The Talent.

modiseteko070815inactionglbg

Teko Modise’s rise to football stardom was a rapid one. Starting out his career at Ria Stars as a 19-year-old his talent was evident to all, After winning the PSL footballer on the season in 2009, PSL legend (depending on who you ask) Sam Pam had this to say about his time with Modise at Ria Stars:

“During our Ria Stars days, I could see that he had the potential to be world-class and I still believe he has the ability to be in the class of Messi and Ronaldo (This might have been a little bit of an exaggeration). But he needs to be challenged because he has so much more to offer the game.”

After Ria Stars, he moved to City Pillars. There he won the Mvela Golden League Player of the Season in their 2005/2006 campaign. The next season Pitso Mosimane’s Supersport United snapped him up. After one good season at Matsatsantsa, Teko got hijacked by Orlando Pirates.

What are the makings of a legendary football player? Statistics?

Football is a sport like no other. This is a sport where stats really don’t count as much as they do in other sports.

For example in basketball; Lebron James is considered one of the best basketball players of all-time.

Career Statistics

Points per game: 27.4

Assists per game: 6.9

Rebounds per game: 7.1

Player efficiency rating 27.59 (number 2 all-time, second only to Michael Jordan)

James Harden is one of the best basketball players at the moment.

Career Statistics

Points per game: 24.3

Assists per game: 6.2

Rebounds per game: 7.5

Player efficiency rating: 24.4 (number 13 all-time)

Player efficiency rating

Basically, what that means is if player A has a higher efficiency rating than player B, Player A is the better player (well, that’s what it’s supposed to mean). According to the statistics, Lebron James is clearly a better player than James Harden and it appears to factual in real life.

Of course, like in anything, they are exceptions to the rule and those exceptions are called Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. But take a look at this:

Teko Modise & Zinedine Zidane

Here are Teko Modise’s best two seasons in the PSL (both season he won PSL Footballer of the Year).

2007/2008 Statistics

Orlando Pirates

Appearances: 28

Goals: 4

Assists: 4

Orlando Pirates scored 38 goals that season and Teko Modise only contributed 8 (4 goals and 4 assists)

2008/2009 Statistics

Orlando Pirates

Appearances: 24

Goals: 6

Assists: 6

Orlando Pirates scored 37 goals that season and Teko Modise, who was by then the best player in the country, contributed 12 goals (6 goals and 6 assists).

Now, here are Zinedine Zidane’s best two seasons at Juventus and Real Madrid (both seasons he won the FIFA Ballon d’Or/ FIFA World Player of the Year)

2002/2003 Statistics

Real Madrid

Appearances: 33

Goals: 9

Assists: 9

Real Madrid scored 86 goals and Zidane, their best player, only contributed 16 (9 goals and 9 assists).

1997/1998 Statistics

Juventus

Appearances: 32

Goals: 7

Assists: 5

Juventus scored 67 goals that season and Zidane, again their best player, only contributed 12 ( 7 goals and 5 assists)

Teko Modise and Zinedine Zidane were the best players on their respective teams but, the numbers don’t show it.

Teko Modise: The Birth of the Superstar.

teko-modise_2511399

Orlando Pirates had a rough couple of seasons after Kosta Papić left them at the end of the 2005/2006 season (teardrop). Pirates made bad signings in the transfer market. Buying ‘was-really-good-in-their-league’ but ‘no-so-good-in-the-PSL’ foreign players (I still have nightmares of Davis Mwape). They finished a disappointing 5th on the table in their 2006/2007 campaign – a season before Modise arrived. I was excited when I saw him take the pitch in the Telkom Charity Cup (back then we didn’t have Twitter and Facebook to notify us when a player had been signed). I, like many others, loved the way he played the game. He style was like a Mimosa Cocktail, his first touch and dribbling was the orange juice, and his vision and his passing was the Champaign. Magnifique.

Teko Modise: The Superstar

After his good first season at Pirates, Teko gained admiration, but his second season made him a superstar. Nicknamed ‘The Navigator’ (pronounced Naavi-gay-taah) because of his ranging passes and Google Maps wasn’t a thing then.

Endorsements for footballers wasn’t that big of a commodity in South Africa (remember that ridiculous Steve Lekoelea Clover advert in the 90s? Ridiculous.) but, the World Cup was on the horizon and big corporations thought it would be profitable to sponsor soccer players. The most popular one of them all was Teko Modise. In 2008, he was announced as McDonald’s 2010 World Cup ambassador in a three-year deal which was said to be worth R2,2-million a year. He also became the ambassador for Coca-Cola, Nike, Telkom and Samsung. By 2009, he had also managed to scoop up two PSL Footballer of the Year awards.


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What are the makings of a legendary football player? Trophies won?

The aim of the game is to win. The best teams win. The best coaches win. So surely the best players should win. Sometimes it isn’t that simple. Hypothetically speaking, if you had put Wayne Rooney in Norwich City would he have won as many championships as he had at Manchester United?

Of course not.

Football is a team sport and you will need more than just talent to win you trophies. Variables like the team you play for, your teammates, and management of your team, etc. all play a part in a player winning medals.

For example;

Francesco Totti is one of the best players Italy has ever produced. A legend of Italian football.

League and Champions League Honors:

League (Serie A): 1

UEFA Champions League: 0

Darren Fletcher a good Scottish midfielder. A legend of the Darren Fletcher Fan Club on Facebook page.

League and Champions League Honors:

League (Premier League): 4

UEFA Champions League: 1

See what I mean?

Either way, Teko Modise has won his fair share of trophies; 7 in total. He may have not lifted as many titles as a Daine Klate. But, Klate is a good player who happened to be on very good teams, Teko is a very good player who happened to be on average/good teams. [7]

Teko Modise: The Scapegoat

fifa

Then in 2009, the Confederations Cup came around. The whole country was anticipating a better than average tournament performance by Bafana Bafana because we had Teko Modise. First game vs Iraq, Bafana Bafana did not play well but Teko had a Man of the Match performance. Well, it pretty much went downhill from then on. Bafana Bafana scraped through their group and met Brazil in the semi-final. The Brazilian Bafana Bafana coach, Joel Santana, decided it would be best to employ a 9-1-0 formation. It worked for a while till Bafana Captain Aaron “Mbazo” Mokoena lunged into a brain-dead tackle (as usual) outside the penalty area (18-yards from the goal). The outcome: Freekick, Daniel Alves steps up, goal, game over. Bafana Bafana and Teko Modise disappointed the country. This was Teko Modise’s opportunity to impress. This was Teko Modise’s time to shine. This was Teko Modise’s chance to secure a move to Europe. He choked.

Definition of Choke: In sports, a choke is the failure of a sportsperson or team in a game in a situation where maintaining their performance is highly important.

A few months later, the World Cup thing happened. Teko was nowhere to be found. He choked again. South Africans, in turn, wanted to choke him… literally. Most supporters blamed him for Bafana’s poor showing at the World Cup. He became the scapegoat, the fall guy, and everybody’s favourite guy to hate. In a 2010 article titled ‘We’ve all wronged Teko’  journalist Carlos Amato said this about Modise:

‘…to be honest, none of us has done right by Teko Modise. From the press box to the stands to the corporate boardroom, the local football public have slowly but surely abused the Pirates playmaker.

First of all, in 2008, we cruelly overhyped him. Desperate for a World Cup kingpin, we wilfully decided he was that player – on the thin evidence of one excellent domestic season and a couple of effervescent Bafana showings against docile opponents such as Canada and Botswana. This column was one of the worst sources of Teko-related hyperbole.’

Ouch.

He had a tough 18 months. His form plummeted and he was in the newspapers for all sorts of wrong reasons.

Teko Modise: The Return

After falling out with the coach, Ruud Krol, Orlando Pirates sold Teko Modise to Mamelodi Sundowns in January of 2011. He put his focus back on football and was rewarded with ABSA Premier League title and busted the ‘Teko Modise Curse‘ myth.

Teko Modise Curse: Whenever Teko Modise leaves a club that said teams gains success. Supersport United, after Modise’s departure, won three straight league championships from 2007-2011. Orlando Pirates after they shipped the Navigator off to Sundowns, won 6 trophies in two seasons including the league twice between 2011-2013.

Remember that feeling you got when ‘The Rock’ first came back to Smackdown after doing The Scorpion King (It’s in my top 13 worst movies I’ve ever seen), that’s the same feeling I had when I saw the General back in top form at Sundowns. He rejoined his former Supersport United mentor Pitso Mosimane who seemed to bring the best out of him. He was back. The Navigator was back. Our orange juice Mimosa was back. He was back to controlling games like he used to.

Teko Modise: The Last Hurrah

In the 2016 season, Mamelodi Sundowns triumphed in the CAF Champions League and became only the second South African team to lift the trophy after Orlando Pirates won the tournament 11 years prior. Teko Modise, due to age and injuries, was a bit part player in that now iconic Sundowns team.

Eight months later, in July 217, when his contract was up at Sundowns he completed a move to Cape Town City. City were an up and coming team who finished third on their first season in the PSL after purchasing the status of Mpumalanga Black Aces.

He joined his former Bafana Bafana teammate and newly appointed coach of Cape Town City Benni McCarthy.  Modise was part of the squad that won the MTN8 in the 2018/2019 season but again only played limited minutes. At age 37, it was apparent that the Navigator’s career was coming to an end soon.

What are the makings of a legendary football player? Teko Modise?

Teko Modise: the Legacy

Teko Modise of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2012 MTN 8 Semi Final 1st Leg at the Lucas Moripe Stadium the 18 August 2012 ©Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Compared to other footballers his professional career has been short (he made his debut in the PSL when he was 24). His career has been eventful. His career has been fun to watch. His career has been sometimes disappointing. His career has been sometimes frustrating. His career, all in all, has been successful. Has his career been successful enough to place him among the greats of the South African game? If you measure a footballing great by his stats then maybe Teko Modise doesn’t meet the requirements. If you measure a footballing great by how many trophies and accolades he has won then Teko Modise would be invited to that party. If you measure a footballing great by their technical ability, his consistency, his all-around influence on the game on and off the field then Teko Modise should have VIP access to that club. He may have lost focus a little bit but like the true champion he came back and redeemed himself. A player like that deserves respect and praise.

 

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The Soccer Podcast Without A Name (Yet) S01E24




Bongani ‘Da Bongz’ Nkosi and Thabang ‘Da Real Cheez’ Kgeledi discuss this weekend’s soccer topics. But they should hurry because each topic has a time limit.

The Discussion This Week:
1. Mamelodi Sundowns Successfully Defend Title
2. Kaizer Chiefs Bad Season
3. Orlando Pirates Season A Failure?
4. Pitso Mosimane Criticises Stuart Baxter
5. Manager Who Signed Percy Tau Gets Fired
6. Should Kaizer Chiefs Have Been More Patient With Steve Komphela?
7. Quick Hits

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The Soccer Podcast Without A Name (Yet) S01E10




Bongani ‘Da Bongz’ Nkosi and Thabang ‘Da Real Cheez’ Kgeledi discuss last weekend’s soccer topics. But they should hurry because each topic has a time limit.

1. CAF Champions League
2. Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs Title Hopes
3. Pitso Mosimane On South African Teams
4. EPL Top Four Battle
5. Philippe Coutinho Jeered
6. Games To Look Forward To

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The Soccer Podcast Without A Name (Yet) S01E09

 




Bongani ‘Da Bongz’ Nkosi and Thabang ‘Da Real Cheez’ Kgeledi discuss this weeks soccer topics. But they should hurry because each topic has a time limit.

The Discussion This Week:
1. Orlando Pirates on Top
2. Willard Katsande at Chiefs
3. Tokelo Rantie for Sundowns?
4. PSG Loss to United
5. Real Madrid get Hammered
6. Games To Look Forward To
7. Quick Hits

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The Soccer Podcast Without A Name (Yet) S01E07

Bongani ‘Da Bongz’ Nkosi and Thabang ‘Da Real Cheez’ Kgeledi discuss this weeks soccer topics. But they should hurry because each topic has a time limit.

The Discussion This Week:
1. Sundowns On Top
2. Benni McCarthy For Bafana
3. Elvis Chipezeze’s Play Acting
4. El Clasico
5. Premier League Review
6. Games To Look Forward To
7. Quick Hits

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