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Celebrating Bongani Zungu II

Joining Mamelodi Sundowns was a dream come true. He joined Sundowns when the team had like a seven year drought without trophies, and he was a part of the generation that changed that. And Sundowns went on to dominate the whole of Africa, which was very inspiring to him and many other Downs players.

After he signed for Sundowns; and when he saw the U15s coach, and went to remind him of who he was, but the coach didn't remember him; however, Zungu said "I went back home and worked even more hard. That’s why I’m here, and that’s all I can say".

During the period Sundowns won champions league, Manzini was playing for Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal. It was unfortunate for him that even if he was still a Sundowns Player he wouldn't have been played as he had a very serious injury. "I was happy, and I spoke to a lot of guys and they wished I was there. But I had to move to Portugal".

Moving abroad with an injury that made it difficult for him to adjust. It's a common norm that when an African player moves to Europe, it’s always difficult. You get homesick, and Manzini was definitely homesick, and had to work hard on recovering from his injury, and it was difficult for him at that time.

Jake Smales once Asked Zungu: Was it difficult to adapt life in Europe and in general? "I had to be strong, I had to realise that “okay, I’m here now. This is what I’ve always wanted,” and I just looked forward and worked hard. I had to recover and the club, Guimarães. They were very supportive. I recovered, I became fit, and after that I just performed".

It must have been difficult to be in that kind of situation, when you have to sit out on the sidelines, and you know your team is struggling, fighting to survive? "It’s difficult because you just want to play, you want to help the team, If someone asked “What can you say?” or “What would be some advice for a player or young player who gets injured?” What I say is that you need to accept it. You need to accept the moment, that okay, this is the here and now, and then take it a day at a time. But of course, watching the team playing is difficult, but you can’t always be sad".

Through the life of Bongani Zungu I have come to understand that you need to be in a happy environment, and with people that love you, people that are there for you and can help you recover from your injuries and keep you motivated.

But of course, when you watch football, you miss it, so this is like now, in this current time – everyone’s injured! Think about it, it’s like now you miss it, but you can’t, so you just have to create that happy environment, wherever you are. You need to understand and accept that there’s no football for now.

Content created and supplied by: Football_Universe (via Opera News )

Africa Mamelodi Sundowns Manzini Portugal Vitoria Guimaraes

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