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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Teko Modise- crossing over doesn’t take the art away

By: Zandile Mavuso

If you are a diehard soccer fanatic like myself, you probably one of those people who understand the phenomenon behind the art of a soccer ball being juggled between the legs of a human being, doing wonders and spectacles that are just a marvel to watch.

I’m talking about the tsamayas, shibobos, show me your number and bicycle kicks that footballers across the globe display on the field of play. The ability to showcase such art and greatness has over the years brought people across the world together because of the common understanding and appreciation of the beautiful game. In all my years of existence, I have never seen so many people gather in stadiums, others glued to their television screens all in the name of soccer. Clearly there is something significant about this game that gives joy to those who stay loyal to it.

If one had to go into people’s homes, more specifically in South African townships, you will find that in seven out of ten houses, there will be a photo of Kazier Chiefs, Orlando pirates or Mamelodi Sundowns-just to name a few- used as part of their display in the living room. Soccer goes beyond just being about the 11 players battling it out against their respective counterparts. It has become more than just a matter of getting the ball into the back of the net. Soccer has become a way of life for many and an extension of their lives.

If this be the case, it is no surprise that Orlando Pirates’ fans booed the General, Teko Modise when he came on for Mamelodi Sundowns in an Absa Premiership clash between the two clubs on the 12thh of February. Modise having crossed floors a couple of weeks ago to the Brazilians, has been part of the Bucs’ family for a number of seasons which has seen his talent elevating the club and contributing to their achievements and wins. While at Pirates, he was voted player of the year in the Absa Premiership for two consecutive seasons. A real asset he has been to the black and white and like any child he leaves home to start a new life elsewhere, it is never easy on those who remain behind and to the one who has left. Regardless, the child has to be supported by those he left behind as leaving does not change who they are.

Teko Modise still remains one of the football wonders and talents that South African football has ever produced. Inheriting the nickname The General in itself is evidence enough that he is one of the greatest. His greatness does not lie in the kit he wears, but rather in his talents, which is what should be of importance to soccer lovers.

If it’s about the art of soccer and not about the kit that the players wear, why can’t we be supportive of the individuals and stop being critical of them? At the end of the day, the game still goes on and the rules still remain the same. And as for soccer, it will still be the beautiful game, irrespective of the team they play for.

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