Club legends is a title given to an elite group of players who served with diligence and played a significant role in bringing a favourable amount of success over a number of years.
‘Shabba’ spent an uninterrupted 11-and-a-half years at Naturena, before recently swapping Amakhosi for Turkish Super Lig outfit Erzurumspor – achieving a career-long goal of plying his trade in Europe.
‘Chincha Guluva’, as Chiefs’ founder is commonly referred to, has since sent a gleeful tribute to one of the club’s loyal servants upon his dream move.
“I am very happy for Siphiwe Tshabalala to have joined Turkish club BB Erzurumspor,” Motaung commented in a statement on his club’s website.
“This is a great opportunity for Shabba as it was always his dream to play abroad, even if it happens now somewhat late in his career. In my opinion, he could in fact have gone to Europe earlier.
“I have no doubt that he is up to standard for the Turkish Süper Lig and that he has at least two to three years left to play at that level.”
Tshabalala was an ever-present for well over a decade, tallying up nearly 400 appearances to help the club win two Absa Premiership titles and six domestic cups.
Motaung feels the former Bafana Bafana star has earned his place amongst some of Chiefs' greats over the years, while comparing him to the late ‘Shakes’ Kungwane.
“It is very impressive these days that a player plays so many games for one club. Shabba has played 372 games for Amakhosi and scored 58 goals,” he noted.
“That is quite remarkable. He belongs to that true group of former Chief players, such as Ace Ntsoelengoe, Teenage Dladla, Doctor Khumalo, Neil Tovey and Thabo Mooki – all of whom made a significant contribution to the club.
“Shabba was also one of those distinct left-footers, like Isaac Kungwane.”
Given the manner in which Tshabalala conducted himself on and off the field in the colours of The Glamour Boys, Motaung also vowed to utilise him within the club’s structures upon his return from his mission abroad.
“Shabba was exemplary in how he handled himself and how loyal he was to Kaizer Chiefs. He will always be a member of the Kaizer Chiefs family and when he returns from overseas he will still have a role to play at the club,” Motaung concluded.