AmaZulu FC defender Tsepo Masilela says he represented all the teams he’s played for with pride.
The veteran left-back is an accomplished player having had a successful spell with Maccabi Haifa in Israel, before returning home to join Kaizer Chiefs in 2012.
Masilela was one of Amakhosi's key players when they clinched two PSL titles, a Nedbank Cup and MTN8 crown between 2013 and 2015 under then-Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter.
“I’m just a player. I play to see the team and the supporters happy. I feel that’s my duty. I remember that at Chiefs I once won the players’ player of the season award, but those things they don’t matter,” Masilela told IOL.
“We won the league at the time and that gave me joy. The players’ player of the season, or the player of the season - that doesn’t matter. I want the big one - that we won the league.”
Masilela recalled the 2010 Fifa World Cup finals, where he was part of the Bafana Bafana team which failed to reach the knockout phase.
This was after the hosts, South Africa recorded a 1-1 draw with Mexico and a 3-0 defeat to Uruguay, before securing a 2-1 win over France in their final Group A match.
“It was very disappointing because we conceded three goals. I think that if we had at least lost by one goal we could have actually recovered in the other game against France,” he said.
The 35-year-old made his professional debut at Hellenic in 2003, before playing for Thanda Royal Zulu - known as Benoni Premier United at the time - between 2005 and 2007.
Masilela was then snapped up by Maccabi Haifa in 2007 and he helped the team clinch two Israeli Premier League titles and the Israel State Cup.
“For me to be playing abroad at the time wasn’t pressure at all. It all came down to the coaches, because they had to make the final decision. So, whether you are playing in Botswana or wherever, it doesn’t matter,” he added.
“For me, whenever we were in the national team camp we were all South Africans and we were representing our country. So, all in all there was no pressure. If you remember in the [Fifa] Confederation Cup, I played in all four matches [for Bafana Bafana].”
Masilela, who also represented Maccabi Haifa in the Uefa Champions League, spent the 2011/12 season on loan at Getafe, where he was able to face the likes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga.
The well-travelled player made eight appearances in the PSL for AmaZulu this term, before the season was suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.