Doc had perfect tonic for Modise

Khumalo, a former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder and Bafana Bafana international, was Modise's hero. So when Modise made it to football's top flight and into the national team, Khumalo became his guid
Khumalo, a former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder and Bafana Bafana international, was Modise's hero. So when Modise made it to football's top flight and into the national team, Khumalo became his guid
Image: INSTAGRAM

Doctor Khumalo has always been a part of Teko Modise's life and when Modise launched his biography on Tuesday, he had to be there.

Khumalo, a former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder and Bafana Bafana international, was Modise's hero. So when Modise made it to football's top flight and into the national team, Khumalo became his guide.

Modise would feel "unfairly judged" at times, especially during the Fifa 2010 World Cup when he was heavily criticised for underperforming as Bafana were knocked out in the first round on home soil. When Modise felt like throwing in the towel, Khumalo urged him to carry on, having experienced criticism as a footballer himself.

Khumalo was happy to take the three-hour trip from Polokwane, where he works for Baroka as technical director, to watch Modise launch the book that details his struggles - from being kicked out of home by his father to being labelled a curse until he won six trophies with Mamelodi Sundowns, before moving to Cape Town City this year.

"It's a great honour and a pleasure for me to be recognised by such a great player. I'm grateful that he looked up to me. It gives me goose bumps," Khumalo told Sowetan at the book launch.

"I remember even times when Teko didn't want to go to the national team and Jazzman Mahlakgane [the player's agent] said the only way he can go is if I talk to him. I might have done something similar to him during my playing days, but at the end of the day we forget that what makes us is the game and not our egos.

"So I said to him, 'just swallow your pride and go to the national team', that's it," Khumalo continued.

"I think he's had a great career. Personally, I think he's still got at least three years [in the PSL]. You can't take this away from him, because this is a God-given talent."

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