Football runs in the blood of the Bhengu siblings

Free State Stars' Linda Bhengu, left, and former SA Under-23 striker brother Phumelele.
Free State Stars' Linda Bhengu, left, and former SA Under-23 striker brother Phumelele.
Image: Sihle Ndebele

Former South African under-23 goal-poacher Phumelele "Ace" Bhengu is confident his Free State Stars younger brother Linda Bhengu will surpass his ability as a professional footballer.

The camaraderie shown by the Bhengu siblings can be an inspiration to anyone. As they say, blood is thicker than water.

Ironically, Linda does not want to accept the crown from Phumelele, insisting he cannot be a better striker than the former Moroka Swallows, Thanda Royal Zulu and SuperSport United man.

" I think (Linda) can even go overseas. He's skilful, an element that I don't possess. I always play with heart but he applies his talent. He's a future star," Phumelele, 29, says as he watches his brother's team play against their provincial nemesis, Bloemfontein Celtic.

The Free State MDC derby eventually ends 2-0 in favour of Ea Lla Koto, but Linda doesn't score even though he looks sharp and has threatened Celtic throughout the match.

But the ex-AmaZulu and Mthatha Bucks forward rates Phumelele so highly that he does see that he himself punches above the weight of his older brother, who is thought by many to not have reached his full potential.

" He's one of the best strikers. I am ambitious but I'll never be like him. He's pure talent. What a striker," says a forthright Linda while wiping sweat with his Red Star top.

Phumelele is currently clubless after leaving KwaZulu-Natal-based National First Division side Real Kings at the end of last season.

Linda, 22, is not resting on his laurels but trying hard to cement his place at the Bethlehem-based club.

Football runs in the blood of the Bhengus.

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