Bhele shares career highlights


READ: Nomvethe reveals retirement plans

Nomvethe on Friday confirmed at a press conference he will hang up his boots after three-and-a-half years with the Durban-based outfit.

The 40-year-old joined Usuthu in 2015/16 from Moroka Swallows after both clubs were relegated to the National First Division the season before, citing a desire to be close to family as the reason for the move.

Nomvethe first caught the eye after he helped the now-defunct African Wanderers gain promotion in 1997 along with the likes of Phumlani Mkhize and Sibusiso Zuma.

In that season, the trio netted 34 of Wanderers' 43 goals. Mkhize scored 13 and earned a move to Orlando Pirates, Zuma's 11 goals also took him to Bucs, while 'Bhele''s 10 strikes facilitated a switch to Kaizer Chiefs.

In a 21-year career, Nomvethe also played for Udinese, Salernitana and Empoli in Italy; Djurgardens (Sweden), Pirates, AB Aalborg (Denmark) and Swallows.

"I played against Fabio Cannavaro and the first Ronaldo (the Brazilian). I played against him and Ronaldinho at the Olympics (Sydney 2000)," Nomvethe told when asked about his high points.

"I didn't expect I'd arrive in the top divisions but because of the love and also the football talent that I had this was a gift.

"It also made me happy that I was able to see plenty of the best players I played with at the World Cups, in the UEFA cup competitions."

Nomvethe will forever be grateful to long-time agent Mike Makaab. Makaab said Nomvethe was the first player he managed and took to Europe under the Prosport International banner after he retired from coaching.

"I'm thankful to Mike, he is my father, he means everything to me. Even now he's still looking after me. He ensured that my life wasn't ruined and the way I'm working," Bhele said.

"He was absolutely at the forefront of everything of how to take care of myself, and also to know how to save money."

Nomvethe also had some words of advice for the younger generation of footballers.

"What I can say to the youngsters is they should play with dedication and also if they want to prosper in their lives forget about things that are not right," Nomvethe said.

"I'm talking about parties, alcohol and many girlfriends won't take you anywhere, because in football you have to perform.

"If I don't perform it comes across as the coach is hating you, but you are the one who is doing things that are not right and also are not respecting yourself.

"All in all, it's about taking care of yourself and also respecting the badge of the club you are playing for.''

He went on to thank his wife of 16 years Nompumelelo for her support.

"My wife played a huge role for me ever since I started to play football," he said.

"Even after I suffered injuries she was always there for me. Even during the times of operations she was there for me. She's like my sister, mother, she's everything I asked for.

"To her I'm like a young boy. I want to thank Nompumelelo for being there for me for all these years and even to arrive to this stage of my career."

Nomvethe, who made his Bafana debut on 6 May 1999 against Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain, scored 16 goals in 82 appearances for the national side.

He featured at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups and four African Nations Cups, while he is the PSL's all-time top scorer with 121 goals.