The rise and fall (and rise again?) of Modise

Where it all began Tsholofelo Teko Modise, aka ‘The General’, started his professional career with Ria Stars in 2001 before joining City Pillars in 2002.

He was voted the Mvela Golden League Player of the Season during the 2005/2006 season, earning himself a high-profile move to SuperSport United and then, a year later, to Orlando Pirates. He proved an instant hit and was names PSL Footballer of the Year, albeit the latter amid much controversy.

Was a new legend born eMzansi? Modise debuted for Bafana Bafana against Malawi in the Cosafa Castle Cup in 2007 and netted his first-ever goal against Mauritius in the same competition later that year. His last Bafana goal was in a friendly match against Colombia in 2010 – his 12th international goal.

Remember this game? South Africa vs Cameroon in Rustenburg, Nelson Mandela Challenge – Modise delivers a virtuoso performance, scoring twice as Bafana beat Cameroon 3-2. There’s a belief that Modise is the Maradona of Mzansi for 2010 World Cup success.

The downward spiral begins 2009 Confederations Cup - Modise is awarded the Man of the Match award against Iran, but as the tournament continues he fails to deliver for Bafana. Questions are asked after the tournament if The General can deliver for the nation.

Still, Modise earns his 50th cap as a Bafana player when he captains the side in a 1-1 draw against Bulgaria on May 24, 2010.

2010 FIFA World Cup – Like at the Confederations Cup a year earlier, Modise again fails to deliver for Bafana. After criticism from all quarters, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira eventually drops the midfielder for the final group game against France, which Bafana win 2-1.

Trouble at Pirates After a terrible World Cup Modise loses his starting place at Bucs as time and time again he fails to showcase his talent that the nation has come to expect. Yet most Pirates fans stand by their man, instead blaming coach Ruud Krol for destroying Modise’s career.

Despite an outcry from most South Africans, new Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane stuns everyone as Modise is included in the squad that will face Niger in the first match of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Krol also gives Modise another chance and he responds with a match-winning performance against Moroka Swallows. Optimism is high that the player can get his act together and he promises as much, but things soon take a turn for the worse again as Modise fails to even make it onto the bench.

The end is in sight Modise gets involved in a training boycotting saga. However, Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi denies a message posted on social network Twitter that he boycotted training together with Modise and Andile Jali (Jali played and was substituted by Tlou Segolela after a dismal performance in the Telkom Knockout Final against Kaizer Chiefs).

Modise misses Pirates training ahead of the Santos game, infuriating Krol and leading to showdown talks with club president Irvin Khoza, who announces that they have suspended the player for “being absent from camp and training without authorization”.

A new beginning Speculation is rife that Modise is on his way out, with Swallows coach Gordon Igesund keen to take Modise to the Nest, but on Thursday it is announced that The General has joined title rivals Sundowns – much to the dismay of furious Pirates fans.