Bafana Bafana attacker Mihlali Mayambela has explained how he got to learn of Kaizer Chiefs’ interest in him.
Mayambela joined Cypriot top-flight league side Aris Limassol from Portuguese second-tier outfit Farense before the start of the current season. But before heading to Aris Limassol, Chiefs came calling but a transfer did not materialise.
Mambela says it was his brother Mark who informed him of Amakhosi’s interest after learning it from former Chiefs scout and analyst Sinesipho Mali.
WHAT MAYAMBELA SAID: “Yes, but it was not only Chiefs. I had many other options from different countries but I had to make a decision at the end of the day,” Mayambela told iDiski Times.
I had to go with my gut, not with anybody else, not with my brother’s heart or with my mom’s heart or anybody but what I wanted at the time and the opportunity came to go to Cyprus.
“I just heard. It came from Sne [Sinesipho Mali] but I heard it from my brother.
“I was not in contact with them because that’s not how I deal. I don’t speak to the clubs or to the members of the club. They speak to my agent and it ended there.
“That’s when I decided to move to where I’m at. It was a good decision because I reached my dream to be in the national team and this is the most important thing now.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mayambela has never played in the Premier Soccer League but his profile has been rising lately after remaining an unknown quantity despite spending a number of years overseas.
The 26-year-old made his Bafana debut last September and has scored two goals in four appearances, including the goal that fired South Africa to victory against Liberia and sent them to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
He has been in Europe for the past seven years since he was 19 years old. He has played in Sweden, Portugal, Israel and now Cyprus.
By remaining in Europe after hearing of Chiefs’ interest and his agent not pushing for a move, Mayambela broke a rising trend of South African players returning home still in their prime.
The Bafana star has, however, carved a reputation of being nomadic. Since 2016, he has turned out for eight different clubs.
WHAT NEXT FOR MAYAMBELA? It might not be surprising if Chiefs pursue Mayambela ahead of next season.
Amakhosi currently have players who previously plied their trade in Europe like Keagan Dolly, Kgaogelo Sekgota and striker Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana.