My Ten: 10 things you didn’t know about Tsepo Masilela
My Ten: 10 things you didn’t know about Tsepo Masilela

Posted in Features, News on May 31, 2017.

  • Tsepo used to be an attacking central midfielder. However, then he attended inter-provincial trials with the players sitting in lines per position. He realised that a lot of youngsters had earmarked themselves as midfielders, so Masilela decided to sit in the line for left-backs, which was quite small. He got selected and never looked back.


  • While growing up, there wasn’t much international soccer on the local TV. But that changed when began to broadcast the Uefa Champions League in the nineties. That’s when Tsepo started to admire the Brazilian wing-back Roberto Carlos, who played at the time for Real Madrid.


  • Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu is the best stadium Tsepo ever played in. “It’s the way it’s build,” Masilela explains, “it’s very compact and, because of that, the supporters are very close to the pitch. It all creates a magnificent atmosphere.”


  • Cape Town is the Kaizer Chiefs wing-back’s favourite city, “it’s beautiful. I have been in many cities all over the world, but Cape Town is the best.”


  • Tsepo likes to dress nicely, but doesn’t think of himself as a stylist. “I am a simple, straight-forward guy. If I see something nice, I will buy it. I don’t have a specific shop or shops where I buy my clothing.”


  • The toughest opponent he ever faced is Alexis Sá That happened in a match between Bafana Bafana and Chile in Polokwane in 2009. Sánchez still played for Italy’s Udinese at the time. “He was a real menace,” Masilela remembers, “he was so quick as well. What a player!”


  • Masilela came on at half-time for the 2010 World Cup’s opening game against Mexico at the FNB Stadium. Just before the break, he was asked to warm-up. “Is this for real?”, he thought. During half-time, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira told him: “Go out and enjoy!” Tsepo reflects: “It was a special day and a special moment. I got so emotional, it was something I had dreamt of and then it happened. I heard the roar of the crowd upon entering the pitch, instantly getting goose bumps.”


  • Whenever there is an opportunity, he will go to the Rhema Bible Church on Sunday, often together with his friend and former Chiefs teammate, Siboniso ‘Pa’ Gaxa. “Church is the House of God,” he says, “we often tend to forget that we are blessed.”


  • He closely follows the American basketball league NBA, being a huge fan of LeBron James and his side, Cleveland Cavaliers. “The way he works out and works on improving his game, that’s something to behold,” Tsepo says.


  • Masilela is not sure where he will be in ten years’ time. “It’s something I need to discuss after my playing days with my wife and two kids and see what’s best for the family.” He’s not sure about coaching a first team, but he does ponder about coaching at the youth development level, using his international experience to help talents achieve their dreams.


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