Khumalo: I did not fail in Europe


The former Bafana Bafana captain signed for Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur side in 2010 at the age of 23. Often compared to Bafana and Leeds United legend Lucas Radebe, Khumalo was expected to shine after playing a key role in SuperSport United’s 2009/10 title winning campaign.

The 30-year-old, however, never broke into the Spurs side and was loaned out six times before returning to the PSL in 2015 to rejoin Matsatsantsa as a free agent.

The Swaziland-born defender says he cannot control what people think of his time in Europe, but he believes he achieved so many things there.

“At the end of the day, I had a dream as Bongani. I had a family supporting my dream, I had questions about the higher level of football, [and] I wanted to know what it is like to play in England.

“I spoke to Lucas and Benni McCarthy [about] how it is there. You get injuries and some people call it bad luck or whatever it is. I can’t sit here and say ‘well, I didn’t live up to expectations’ but at the end of the day I gave it my heart and soul and I had an incredible experience.

“In fact I changed the life of my family, I changed the life of my friends because I was exposed to such an incredible level of football. And yes I would’ve wanted to go to Spurs and play every single game, [but] that wasn’t to be for whatever reason.

“I don’t see that as failure. I have been blessed in my career, I’ve been around some of the best players in the world. At the end of the day life goes on, that is the past.”