Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau has opened up about his time growing up playing football barefoot while addressing how he's dealt with the extreme weather conditions in Belgium.
Since joining Club Brugge on loan in the off-season, Tau has endeared himself as a firm fan favourite, following on from his outstanding season in the Proximus League with Royal Union Saint Gillioise.
Having immersed himself into the culture of the western European nation, Tau opened up to Nieuwsblad about what he struggled with when he first arrived from Mzansi.
"You must know that in South Africa - including Zulu, Swazi and English - we have eleven official languages," he said when asked about the language barrier.
"I speak eight of them fluently. Before I came to Belgium, I thought one language was spoken. I did not understand that division into north and south so well. And yours again! Not normal.
Tau added: "When I came here, they saw me struggling when it was too cold. Then I just stayed in the dressing room or went to the gym.
"When I discovered those white grains that you have to rub between your hands and then put in your shoes, things went a lot better. Playing football with frozen toes is not for me!"
When asked about his favourite boots he used while growing up and progressing towards the academy of Mamelodi Sundowns - he admitted he preferred playing without any.
"I didn't wear shoes. You may not believe it, but between eight and roughly fourteen I regularly took off my football boots during a match," Tau explained
"Why? Because I much preferred playing barefoot. That feeling was heavenly. No shoe could beat that."