Kaizer Chiefs legend Siphiwe Tshabalala has opened up on why he did not go back to Amakhosi after his return from overseas last year.
'Shabba' was the headline signing of the 10 players unveiled by AmaZulu on Monday as the club gears up for the mission to finish in the top four.
The 36-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Usuthu and will be wearing jersey number 36 in the green and white.
But before he left for Turkey a few years ago, the 2010 World Cup legend made it clear that he wanted to retire at Chiefs.
"We talked but nothing happened my brother," Tshabalala tells KickOff.com in an exclusive interview.
"Like I said before, I wanted to go back to the club and end my career there. But if the club has other plans as well there won't be any hard feelings. I'll always be grateful for the opportunity that I got at the club.
"Why didn't I go back to Chiefs? I'm sure the team had other plans. Jazzman [Mahlakgane] did reach out to them but nothing happened. It just took time. Then I also had to move on."
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"Obviously when I left for Turkey it was my wish to one day return to Chiefs and retire there. But that was not the case you know, there were other plans as well," he continues.
"Just before lockdown I was ready to leave the country for China. There was a deal in China, and it fell through. I was supposed to leave in January but that's when the corona started becoming worse in China so I had to wait.
"While I was waiting South Africa went into lockdown. I felt I should just close that chapter of going far and just be closer to my family."
The attacking midfielder also elaborates on his connection with new AmaZulu owner Sandile Zungu, a successful KwaZulu-Natal businessman who now owns Usuthu 100 percent.
"The Usuthu thing, it came about [because of] Sandile [Zungu] the owner. He is a good friend of mine and a business mentor. We had a lengthy talk on the phone when he was sharing with me his plans," Tshabalala reveals.
"He told me his wish was to acquire the Usuthu team, and after that we also met at his house. He wants to change Usuthu into a big team. He wants to challenge for silverware. It's up to me if I want to play for two years or more, and to show he means business he gave me two years. He wants me to stay longer with the club.
"But now I still want to play, the desire is there, the hunger is there. This is a great opportunity for me because I'll be doing what I love. I'm excited about this new chapter."