De Generaal- South Africa’s Deco

Teko Tsholofelo Modise (28) is South Africa’s most popular player and according to the fans he’s South Africa’s best player,even better than European duo Steven Pienaar and Benni McCarthy.’I pray everyday for a transfer to Europe.’


Modise was born in Meadowlands, Soweto and was raised by his mother in Diepkloof. He is the third in a family of three children (a brother and a sister).Growing up as a child he supported Orlando Pirates’ rivals Kaizer Chiefs. Teko who?That’s how South Africa’s former coach Carlos Alberto Parreira would have reacted when his assistant Pitso Mosimane suggested to select Teko Modise in early 2007.Four years on,Modise is  the most popular player in the Bafana Bafana selection .But early 2007 the then 24-year-old Modise had only played 6 months  at the highest level for SuperSport United.Before that period, he was  in  South Africa’s Second Division for four years.It was the South African Mosimane,then coach of SuperSport United,who took  him to the Premiership.’Teko is my Deco’,that’s what Mosimane told journalists everytime.Modise was compared with the Portuguese midfielder Deco,who was at that time playing the best football of his career at Barcelona.

Parreira included the talented Modise in selection after Mosimane recommendation.The Brazilian was quickly convinced.’A diamond’,according to Parriera who coached Brazil to win the 1994 FIFA World Cup.’Still a raw talent , but we are going to work hard on it.’Parreira took  Modise to the 2008 African Nations Cup in Ghana but South Africa  returned home after the first round .Modise admitted he had learnt a lot after the tournament.
In the season 2007/2008 Modise signed a contract with Orlando Pirates, which at that time was coached by Ruud Krol for the second consecutive year.Modise was twice named South Africa’s Player of the Year.Modise is deservedly popular among the local football fans, especially because of his excellent vision, clever passes, tricks and phenomenal technique with which he regularly kicks from distance.He is also a free kick specialist.Modise can play with both feet.He is a ball juggler and that is what the fans like.

Modise had not so a good  FIFA Confederations Cup tournament two years ago.He played in the shadow of former Ajax player Steven Pienaar, currently playing for Tottenham Hotspurs.On 14 June 2009, he was awarded the Budweiser Man Of The Match award in the opening game of the 2009 Confederations Cup against Iraq. Modise was a part of the squad selected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, unfortunately he did not perform to his normal standards during the tournament and subsequently received much criticism from the media and public.His form has dipped since then.According to some observers he is too busy with commercials, while others blame his former coach Krol’s.The coach played  Modise at the wrong position.He played him on the left wing instead of playing him as a playmaker behind the strikers.On 27 January 2011, it was announced that Modise was joining Mamelodi Sundowns after falling out with Orlando Pirates coach and Dutch legend Ruud Krol.

With Modise in form Bafana Bafana will go places.

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