Reneilwe Letsholonyane has highlighted Siphiwe ‘Shabba’ Tshabalala’s lifestyle as the reason behind his longevity and recent European move.
At 33 years old, Shabba was expected to see out the remainder of his career at Chiefs. However, the former Bafana Bafana star shocked many by agreeing to a move to Turkish Super Lig side BB Erzurumspor.
Shabba has always spoken of his desire to play in Europe and despite his veteran status, he has secured a move to Erzurumspor on a two-year deal with an option of renewing it for another year.
For SuperSport United midfielder Letsholonyane, the move of his former teammate at Chiefs to Europe comes as no surprise.
‘It’s difficult to have staying power in this game‚ in a sense that there are a lot of things that happen in this world‚’ said Yeye.
‘There’s this pressure that comes with being a footballer in terms of a lifestyle. It’s not peer pressure‚ because you are way past that stage.
‘But it’s that pressure where‚ if you are not disciplined enough as an individual, you would end up falling into a trap… and end up making wrong decisions‚ which would catch up with you in the long run because of a bad lifestyle.
‘Even if you are not a party person or don’t drink [alcohol]‚ you end up there because you want to fit in.’
Letsholonyane‚ 35‚ admitted that he and Tshabalala would attend parties, but made sure it never became a habit.
‘We are human‚ and we need to have some fun every now and then‚ but I know for a fact that for us‚ with Shabba‚ it would be a party when‚ sometimes‚ we are out with teammates.
‘It was not something that happened every weekend‚’ insisted Yeye‚ who spent nine years alongside Shabba at Chiefs.
‘I always say to the youngsters that in our field‚ football is entertainment for fans‚ but not entertainment like for musicians or artists. Those ones can stay up in a [night] club the whole night.
‘It’s their job to be on a party scene‚ but as a footballer, you can’t be an entertainer who is at training in the morning and when you are supposed to rest‚ you are going out at night. That needs discipline‚’ the midfielder concluded.