SIPHIWE Tshabalala to Paris Saint German!
The newspaper headlines could well have screamed thus when the world was Tshabalala’s oyster during the 2010 World Cup.
In the week Mzansi celebrate the 10th anniversary of the landmark Fifa event, “Shabba” has recalled his chance meeting with Arsene Wenger, which resulted in a flattering talk about interest PSG had shown in him.
Tshabalala grabbed the international headlines when he scored Bafana Bafana’s goal in their opening World Cup match against Mexico and certainly caught the eye of many.
“We were having a shoot in Sandton where we bumped into Arsene Wenger,” recalled Tshabalala.
“Obviously you become star-struck when a person of Wenger’s stature recognised you.
“We had a chat about the World Cup and he said that I am a good player, I played well. He also recognised Itu (Khune) and acknowledged him as well.
“But I remember he even said to me ‘I know that PSG wants you’ and he wished me well. His agent took my number and said he will be in contact.”
As it would later turn out, the French club never called.
Instead it was English side Nottingham Forest who came knocking.
However, a deal never materialised and Shabba spent more years with Kaizer Chiefs until he finally earned his overseas move, to Turkey, at the ripe age of 34.
Yes, Bafana couldn’t get out of the starting blocks, crashing out in the group stages of the 2010 tournament.
But Shabba remembers more... much more than the disappointment.