How Chiefs lost Mbesuma to Sundowns

Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs legend Collins Mbesuma has revealed how Bobby Motaung allowed him to slip through his fingers before he joined Mamelodi Sundowns in 2008.

Mbesuma broke the Chiefs supporters' hearts when he returned from Europe to join their Tshwane rivals just three years after scoring a record 25 league goals for Ted Dumitru's Castle Premiership-winning Amakhosi side in 2004/05.

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As if that was not enough to hurt the Amakhosi faithful, 'Ntofontofo' rubbed salt into the wounds of the fans who used to worship the ground he walked on by joining their biggest rivals Orlando Pirates in 2012.

The University of Pretoria striker, now 36 and still useful in front of goal, says he did not do all of that on purpose but admits Chiefs did not try hard enough to get him back.

"[Laughs] No it's not about dumping, it was just to go and try new things you know, a new challenge in your life," Mbesuma tells KickOff.com.

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"You know it's footbal. In football you never know what's going to happen. You can wake up tomorrow to find... ja you know, I think Sundowns showed more interest you understand. Football is work.

"They showed more interest. Chiefs didn't show interest in me... I just can't force myself, 'You know Joe, I'm here...' No no no! I think from my point of view, from my agent... that's the first thing I asked them.

"The first question was, 'What are the Chiefs people saying?' I think at some point I even got Bobby's number... but there was not that impact to say, 'Okay we want you.' So I said, 'No, maybe Sundowns are interested.' So that's how I went to Sundowns."

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Mbesuma has played for eight different South African teams as well as former English Premier League club Portsmouth, Portuguese side Maritimo, Bursaspor of Turkey and Maccabi FC in Israel.

"You know me, I don't move with money. That's the kind of player I am. If I moved with money I would be in some countries somewhere in the world you know. Me, I just want football. I enjoy playing competitive football, like I'm not into money," he says.

"Money will come after work. People will say ja you did good, they will give you money. But if I put money first then it's not good. I didn't talk to him [Bobby], he was discussing with my agent, but that's what they told me you know.

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"Sundowns showed interest. Ja but the first thing, me, I wanted Chiefs. When Chiefs didn't show interest then I went to Sundowns. People they will never understand you know, because I can't force myself [to Chiefs].

"Maybe they [Chiefs management] were thinking he is still injured or what-what. Because I was injured there in Turkey. So I think Sundowns gave me a chance... I trained with Sundowns, I didn't just like come and sign. It was ten days or two weeks and then I signed."

After the 2004/05 season having lost the goalscoring prowess of Mbesuma and management skills of Dumitru, Chiefs had to wait eight years before lifting the Premiership trophy again in 2012/13.

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