Amaglug-glug hero jobless 20 years later

Premiership

On the 20-year anniversary of the goal that sent South Africa to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, hero Daniel Matsau tells the heartbreaking story of how he finds himself unemployed.

It was on 27 May 2000 that Matsau fired home an 87th-minute goal for a star-studded South Africa under-23 team against New Zealand.

After wriggling his way past Kiwi defender Ryan Nelson – who went on to play alongside Benni McCarthy for Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League – Matsau fired home to spark wild celebrations.

Check out memories of that special moment as well as pictures from Matsau's international and Kaizer Chiefs career in the gallery above

Shakes Mashaba's Amaglug-glug team is still celebrated today as the best youth team the country ever produced, with several players going on to enjoy glittering careers.

Matsau, unfortunately, did not have the same fortune as the likes of Matthew Booth, Siyabonga Nomvethe, Aaron Mokoena, Stanton Fredericks, Quinton Fortune and other superstars of the local game that played in that under-23 side.

READ: Matsau: Buchanan was better than Maluleka

Nicknamed 'Massaro' after the AC Milan legend Daniele Massaro, the Free State-born former Kaizer Chiefs striker was a marvel to watch, especially for his work-rate.

Despite being one of the shortest strikers in the world, Matsau could out-jump even the tallest defenders.

It was Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba who gave the player his big break when he selected him for the under-20 national team despite him not having a South African identity document at the time.

READ: My Dream Team: Shakes Mashaba

Matsau was recommended to Amakhosi by under-20 teammate Patrick 'Ace' Mbuthu.

"I went to Chiefs from under-20, and they loaned me to Celtic. Then from Celtic I went back to Chiefs, then I got a bad injury when I went to the national team. I broke my shin," Matsau tells KickOff.com.

"I spent almost two years not playing competitive football. When my contract with Chiefs was terminated, I went to Hellenic. Then I went to SuperSport, and they loaned me to Swallows, then from Swallows I got a bad injury again, I broke my knee."

That knee injury put an end to his promising career and he retired at Matlosana City in the Vodacom League.

"That's when everything started falling apart. After playing for a Mpumalanga side that bought a status from a Limpopo team, I went to Matlosane City and that's where I retired," he says.

READ: My Dream Team: Jabu Mahlangu

Matsau explains how he managed to succeed as a striker despite his height of only 1.58 metres.

"I was quick. I could jump at any height, I could fight for anything. I was sharp, I could do anything with my body, I had a big heart," he says.

"I was not telling myself that I'm short. I had power in my legs. I was scoring more goals with my head than with my legs you know.

"My salary at Chiefs was R4 500 that time. You know most of the money I was earning I gave it to my mom. I remember my late younger sister, she had a daughter at an early age.

"So I asked my mom to stop working, I said 'I will provide you with everything that I've got, I want you to look after this girl for me'... that time we were staying in a shack you know, we didn't have a house.

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"Even my first signing-on fee I told Kaizer Chiefs, 'You know what, don't write this cheque in my name. Write it in my mother's name because I want to build a house for my mom.'

"So that money went straight into my mother's account. I grew up without a father you know. Even my salary, I said you know what, I'd rather remain with R1 000 and the rest goes to my mom, because that time I was staying in a hotel so I was eating there. Chiefs was paying for everything.

"My highest salary in football was at SuperSport. It was R18 500, in 2005 I think. But I bought my first car at Chiefs, it was the year 2000, a Golf 3 VR6. I bought it with my second signing-on fee. It cost me R65 000, so I bought it cash.

"One guy from Chiefs told me, 'You know what, this injury [shin injury sustained on national duty in Iran] it won't get healed.' That's when they didn't renew my contract.

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"I remember one time I trained with Pirates for a day after leaving Chiefs. Then they were going to Durban to play Vodacom Challenge. But I remember one of the Pirates staff members saying, 'No, there's no way we can sign a player from Kaizer Chiefs, and you know this guy's got a bad injury.'"

The 43-year-old is currently unemployed and unmarried but has two daughters aged nine and 20.

"I'm struggling to find a job you know," he admits. "I'm coaching my team in the SAB. So I'm busy trying to develop the boys here in my location and in my region.

"I'm not working but I'm still looking to find a job this side you know. I know I'm not alone, there's too many who are not working this side but busy with development, doing what they know best which is football.

"But like said, to put food on the table it's very hard as I'm not working. I've got a CAF D licence. It's very hard, it's very difficult."

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