'Messi' rates Bucs chances next season


Tebogo Tlolane is ready to grab his opportunity again if he gets a chance to return to Orlando Pirates next season and explains why they call him 'Messi'.

Tlolane is currently on loan to Maritzburg United until the end of the season and has impressed for Eric Tinkler's side.

The former Chippa United defender looks set to return to Pirates next season after his outstanding performances since moving to KwaZulu-Natal in January.

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"Anything is possible in football. I just have to keep my feet on the ground, level-headed and keep working hard," Tlolane tells KickOff.com.

"If I get that opportunity again [at Pirates] I am ready to grab it with both hands. If not, I am ready to stay here and keep working hard.

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"It's up to the coaches and technical team. Orlando Pirates have a lot of good players. You need to be patient and keep waiting. If I get that opportunity again I am ready to work hard to win a place in the team."

Check out the chances of other loaned-out Pirates players returning below... 

The 25-year-old, who is a defender on paper, has been used more as an attacking midfielder at Maritzburg compared to Chippa United where he played as a left-back last season.

"My natural position is a winger. I was converted to left-back [at Chippa] because there was no player who could play that position. As a professional player you have to adjust to any position or role to perform on the field," explains the man popularly known as 'Messi'.

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"Playing as left-back demands a lot of work as you have to go up and down the field. Playing as attacking midfielder offers you the opportunity to go past a few players and create and score goals.

"I got the nickname Messi whilst still playing in dusty streets in Alberton and Katlehong and playing with the likes of Thabo Mosadi. It stuck with me even when I went to Jomo Cosmos and Chippa United.

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"I remember vividly that day they gave me the nickname. I came on second half and we were trailing 2-0 at half-time. I scored two goals and we went on to win the match by 5-2.

"I skinned the players alive during that game and the fans started calling me Messi. The name has stuck with me since that time."

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