“I am very happy for Siphiwe Tshabalala to have joined Turkish club BB Erzurumspor. This is a great opportunity for Shabba as it was always his dream to play abroad, even if it happens now somewhat late in his career. In my opinion, he could in fact have gone to Europe earlier. I have no doubt that he is up to standard for the Turkish Süper Lig and that he has at least two to three years left to play at that level.
Shabba played for our youth side when Muhsin Ertugral and Farouk Khan were at the Village. He didn’t have dreadlocks then. I watched the youth team a few times, as I often do, and I liked what I saw. Shabba is a left-footer, like me, and they always bring something special to the game. There are not many footballers with an educated left-foot. However, in the end, the coaches decided to let him go.
Shabba then went to Moroka Swallows, Alexandre United and eventually Free State Stars, before we signed him in early 2007. He arrived injured and this kept him out for the rest of the 2006/2007 season. However, from the moment he started playing for us in the following season, he only became better and better.
He is a quiet and, above all, an exemplary person, who is very disciplined. He has good leadership qualities and he was never in the media for the wrong reasons. That has impressed me. His lifestyle is very stable. This is a reflection of a good family upbringing. Shabba always shows respect for other people.
He has been a fantastic player for Kaizer Chiefs over the years, winning two league titles and numerous cups. He not only scored goals, but also provided numerous assists. Shabba has scored some beautiful goals over the years and it is difficult to really single out one. However, I should mention the goal he scored for Bafana Bafana in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup against Mexico. This was not only a beautiful goal, it also captured the imagination of South Africans and soccer fans all over the world. It set the stage for a very successful World Cup hosted by South Africa.
It is very impressive these days that a player plays so many games for one club. Shabba has played 372 games for Amakhosi and scored 58 goals. That is quite remarkable. He belongs to that true group of former Chief players, such as Ace Ntsoelengoe, Teenage Dladla, Doctor Khumalo, Neil Tovey and Thabo Mooki, all of whom made a significant contribution to the club. Shabba was also one of those distinct left-footers, like Isaac Kungwane.
Shabba was exemplary in how he handled himself and how loyal he was to Kaizer Chiefs. He will always be a member of the Kaizer Chiefs Family and when he returns from overseas he will still have a role to play at the club.”