Shaun Bartlett made it to the national team and became South Africa's second-highest scorer of all time because of him, says a former teammate.
In 1995 Bartlett and David Modise caused havoc for local teams in the old National Soccer League as their superb combination helped Cape Town Spurs lift both the Bob Save Superbowl and the NSL league title.
Ex-Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Modise says he played a major role in making sure the Amakhosi assistant coach realised his dream of playing for Bafana Bafana.
Asked why he never played for the national team, the PSL winner with Manning Rangers says it was all about Bartlett back then.
"Bafana Bafana, it was for Joburg, it was not for us," Modise tells KickOff.com.
"And for agents that... 90 percent of the players there in that national team it was Glyn Binkin's [then Bafana team manager] players, you understand? So how am I going to be in the national team?
"How do you call Shaun to the national team and you don't call me? Who is making Shaun? I'm not saying Shaun is a bad player, but who was making Shaun score goals? He went to America remember? When he came back from America he was struggling, he went to AmaZulu and he couldn't make it at AmaZulu.
"Then Shaun came back to me [when he rejoined Spurs] and he said, 'Look, I want to go back to the national team, can you help me?' I said help you with what? He said, 'Help me with goals'.
"Then I helped him...
"At one stage Mich D' Avray [Spurs coach] shouted at me he said, 'What are you doing? You should have scored that goal! Why did you give it to Shaun?' I said, 'Mich, I don't want to play for the national team. You know I'm helping my brother.'
"This guy playing in the national and playing overseas, it was his dream. That was when he came back from America... and then from there Shaun was in the national team. He was scoring goals at Cape Town Spurs, with Ian Gorowa and me.
"He went back to the national team for the second time because he asked me. Even Gorowa once said to me, 'Since he's been with the national team, has he ever given you a [Bafana] jersey?'
"I said, 'I don't need that jersey, let's help him, Gorowa.' Then he went back to the national team, then he went to Switzerland and from Switzerland he moved to England."
Contacted for comment, Bartlett affirmed some of Modise's claims.
"Must have been when we were still playing together during the 1995 season," Bartlett remembers.
"I was part of the national team since 1994 and didn't get selected for Amaglug-glug, when Mich D'Avray was the coach of both Spurs and the under-23.
"We chatted about obviously winning the league and cup double for Spurs but also how we could get into the national team if he supplies me, and he in return will be noticed as assisting in goals.
"But playing with him was always a pleasure as he possessed unique skills of opening up opposition defences with accurate passes.
"He had great vision and good variation of delivering passes to attackers. Comfortable and very relaxed on the ball, hardly looked rushed at any point, even when being marked tightly."
Binkin also responds to Modise's statement that most of his clients were in the Bafana squad back in the 90s.
"Players I represented such as Lucas Radebe, Mark Fish, Shaun Bartlett, Andre Arendse, Eric Tinkler and Sibusiso Zuma all played in Europe and were selected by probably seven or eight different Bafana coaches on merit," Binkin says.
"I am sure if you ask David Modise which players I represent, he won't even know. Shaun Bartlett was an outstanding striker for both club and country and was in the national team on merit."
Modise was the 1995 Players' Player of the Year and won the PSL with Manning Rangers in 1996/97