KICK OFF: How is this young man from Chiweta is feeling about his football career right now considering all that has happened in recent times…
Gabadinho Mhango: [Smiling] First of all I think I need to thank the Almighty God, my family, my mom, my teammates and Orlando Pirates for bringing me here. It has been great being here because we are playing good football. I can see that there are changes with the football that we are playing now. It is great because you can tell that we are playing for a big team like Orlando Pirates. For me, it is a huge opportunity being at Orlando Pirates.
How would you describe the space that you are in now? What I can tell is that there are a
lot of differences compared to the team [BidVest Wits] that I played for previously. Nowadays I cannot even go out without anyone recognising me. I mean, even the security guard where I stay recognises me and always says ‘Bhakaniya’ [Buccaneer], so I can already tell that there is a difference and this team is big. It is a lot of pressure to know that there are a lot of people watching our games and every movement. These are people who make a lot of sacrifices so that means a lot to me. I am grateful to be at Pirates.
What kind of mental space are you in now knowing the importance of the psychological factor in this game?
Right now, I am just OK. I am just normal because I am feeling good and enjoying my football. What matters the most is that I am happy and enjoying my football.
How do you define the ‘enjoying my football’ part?
It is making the team win because that is what I am employed to do. The fact that we are together as a team of players as well counts because we are a football team that should always stick together through all challenges. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing that I think about is coming to training because when I come to training, I always feel like I am enjoying my time here. This is the only place where I get to do what I do best, which is to play football. I am enjoying my football here.
The look on your face gives away the excitement you have when talking about training…
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‘There is more coming'
The arrival of German coach Josef Zinnbauer at Orlando Pirates has coincided with Gabadinho Mhango suddenly raising his performance. His seven goals in Zinnbauer’s first four matches have elevated him to double figures already with a loud shout in the top scorers’ award chase. As Malawi’s top export, Mhango knows he is representing many back home, and thus carries the desire to aim high. He spoke to KICK OFF’s Lovemore Moyo, revealing he believes there is more coming from him.
‘I should have won 12 times'
Samuel Eto’o announced his retirement from professional football in 2019 and leaves behind a legacy that many consider sees him as the greatest African footballer of all time with 18 major titles won for club and country. KICK OFF’s Lorenz Kohler sat down with the four-time CAF African Player of the Year at the Duqesa de Cardona hotel in Barcelona before El Clasico to find out his role in the Castle Lager Africa Fives project and look back on an iconic career that started back in 1997.
The incredible coaching journey of Pitso Mosimane
If Mamelodi Sundowns go on and retain their Absa Premiership title at the end of the season, Pitso Mosimane will have won a fifth championship and become the most successful coach in the history of the sport in South Africa. Soweto-born Mosimane has an all-consuming passion for the game, starting in his playing career and now well into his mid-50s. His hunger for victory remains all too evident, even if the novelty of winning is now long past. With Sundowns he has won four of the last six league championships, and in so doing, matched the feats of four titles won by the likes of Jeff Butler, Ted Dumitru, Gordon Igesund and Gavin Hunt. But he has already gone one better than them by also winning the African Champions League – the Holy Grail on the continent. But how did Mosimane start out coaching, what fueled his passion and what was his journey to the top. It is a fascinating insight, told exclusively to KICK OFF’s Mark Gleeson.
The Best Of South Africa's Clasico
Kaizer Chiefs versus Orlando Pirates is one of football’s great derby matches with a rich history, both good and bad, that has helped to create a sports event that is the biggest in South Africa. It is perhaps the only fixture that can bring the country to a stand-still and down the years there has been some epic fixtures. KICK OFF’s Mark Gleeson picks out 10 of the best.
Should He Stay Or Should He Go?
Three months after taking over Orlando Pirates, Rhulani Mokwena hasn’t elevated the club to where the fans expected. This has naturally raised questions about whether it was premature to hand him the job. KICK OFF’s Lovemore Moyo investigates Mokwena’s appointment, tenure and what could possibly be the way forward.
‘We Know How To Win The League'
Mamelodi Sundowns winger Lyle Lakay feels that there is no need to panic over the pace that Kaizer Chiefs have set in the Absa Premiership championship race, insisting that the Brazilians have the edge in terms of experience. KICK OFF’s Lovemore Moyo spoke to the 28-year-old, who spent most of his five years at Bloemfontein Celtic trying to get out of the club.
Chiefs' Missing Link
Kaizer Chiefs’ excellent start to the 2019/20 Premier Soccer League season has been a great team effort, but there is one man who stands out head and shoulders above the rest as the catalyst for their upturn in fortunes. Serbian striker Samir Nurkovic was a little-known journeyman forward before he arrived at Naturena at the beginning of the campaign, but has almost single-handedly improved the side’s attacking fortunes. KICK OFF’s Nick Said investigates what makes Nurkovic such a quality addition and why he can fire Chiefs to the league title.
Umahamba Yedwa – The Lone Ranger
It’s tough living in a world where you watch European football from the sidelines, without colours to nail to the mast. Globalisation of the English game, as well as the Spanish and Italian leagues has compelled us to form allegiance with one or more European countries. But, KICK OFF’s Stephen Kihn, who is without friend or foe in any international league, has found the loneliness of a vegetarian at a braai, as he navigates his way through the football world without a club to support.
From the moment a young, scrawny but immensely talented Ayanda Patosi walked through the doors of the now defunct Africa Soccer Development (ASD) Academy in Cape Town, he looked destined for Europe. Following six relatively successful years in Belgium, the 24-year-old somewhat surprisingly signed for ambitious Premier Soccer League club Cape Town City in June. Was his return an easy, desperate or premature move? Or did it purely make sense for all parties? Here, his former academy principal, and Patosi himself, give their views.
Micho Needs Mucho Macho
If former Bucs coach Kjell Jonevret is to be believed, being the head coach of Orlando Pirates is a bit like being the White House chief of staff. In both jobs, you are granted just enough power to understand, slowly and painfully, just how powerless you actually are. This is not to equate Irvin Khoza with Donald Trump. The two men are worlds apart – not least because Khoza must have at least 50 IQ points on that mighty moron with his thumb on the nuke button.
As a former football star, an analyst on The NFL Today, and a new co-host of CBS’s morning show, Emmy Award–winning Nate Burleson shows his versatility every time he’s on camera. And he’s just getting started.
Q&A with Miami Dolphins Legend Richmond Webb
I was lucky enough to interview the legend, Richmond Webb. For those Dolphins fans who live under a rock, Webb is one of the greatest Miami Dolphins players ever and their greatest left tackle of all time.
To do list
RON BOSS EVERLINE
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WEEK 2: GIANTS AT WFT
Primetime divisional showdown in DC
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Had it not been for the Miami Dolphins’ defense last season, they would not have won 10 games.
‘We're constantly trying to evolve'
For more on what’s happening within Buffalo’s offense, here are some highlights from offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s recent press conferences.
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DEMECO FOR THE DEFENSE
Ryans plans to attack after taking over key role on coaching staff