Soweto Derby power hits Brazil, Ethiopia


The reach of the Soweto Derby is being felt across the Atlantic Ocean and further up the continent, with former Orlando Pirates strikers Pio Nogueira and Fikru Tefera expressing their emotions about this blockbuster fixture.

It is Chiefs and Pirates squaring off again on Sunday and the tremors are being felt all the way over in Brazil and in Ethiopia.

"This remains the biggest fixture I ever played. I still tell people that this was the biggest match that I ever played of my career. Pirates and Chiefs were the biggest clubs that I played for because in Belgium and Portugal I played for medium size teams that didn’t compare to Pirates and Chiefs," Noguiera tells

"The truth is that in Belgium and Portugal I was never involved in games like the Soweto Derby. I talk more about the Soweto Derby now than any game I was involved in during my time in Belgium and Portugal. Even this week I have been telling people here about the Soweto Derby."

Noguiera arrived at Pirates in 1988 and left a huge impression before a disappointing brief spell with Chiefs.

"I played for four Derbies during my time in South Africa. I sat on the bench in the [1988] Bob Save Super Bowl final at Ellis Park as I had just arrived from Brazil. In another game I scored one and Etienne Nsunda scored the other goal.

"Then another time the league match was postponed because there were too many people outside and we ended up playing a friendly game since we were already on the field.

"Then in another game against Chiefs we were leading 2-0 and ended up settling for a 2-2 draw. The fans wanted to beat up the coach Geoff Hudson because after taking me off Chiefs scored two goals.

"I then came back to play for Chiefs when I was no longer at my best because I had a knee problem, which is why I came back from Portugal. Those days South African football was at the top. The Derby is one exciting game to play and it is sad that there will be no supporters again in the stands because of corona.

"The atmosphere and drive for the players to win will still be the same because they all want to win this one. South Africa is my second home, so I always take interest in what is happening there. I even watch Jomo Cosmos, AmaZulu and follow everything happening here."

In December 2006, Fikru played in the last Derby before the old FNB Stadium was pulled down, which finished 1-1. 

"That was the biggest match that I ever played in my club career because there was over 80 000 in the stadium. The people here in Ethiopia know a lot about the Soweto Derby not because I once played in it, but because it is a huge game," he explains.

"Just this week I was talking with my friend about playing in our local derby of St George and Coffee and then Pirates versus Chiefs. Everyone who follows football here in Ethiopia knows about the Soweto Derby. This is a classic match because it is watched everywhere in the world."

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