Thursday, 15 August 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Siyanda Xulu "disappointed" at being over-looked for Bafana's defeat against Nigeria - in his home town

On top of his game: Siyanda Xulu is on
on top of the world with Rostov in Russia
Gallo Images

SIYANDA XULU has expressed disappointment and frustration after being over-looked for South Africa’s disappointing 2-0 defeat against Nigeria in his hometown on Wednesday.

Just a fortnight ago, former Mamelodi Sundowns defender Xulu marked the world’s best player, Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o, out of the game when his underdogs Rostov beat billionaire Suleyman Kerimov’s Anzhi  Makhachkala 1-0.

Even that wasn’t enough to earn a call from SAFA but the 21-year-old from KwaMashu insists: “I hope to be back in Gordon Igesund’s thinking for the final World Cup qualifier against Botswana on September 7 at the Moses Mabhida.”

Xulu, speaking on my football show BOLLOCKZ on yesterday morning, told me: “Nobody from Bafana made any contact. I was very disappointed, we were top of the Russian League. I’m doing very well for my club, we are winning, I am playing. Of course I was disappointed.

“I’m a KwaMashu boy, I always miss home, you always do. I wanted to come home and play in this game in Durban.

“I didn’t get to see the Nigeria defeat because they didn’t show it in Russia but I got to hear from my parents and some friends. They told me. Bafana didn’t have much of a good game I hear, especially when we were the ones playing a home, near where I grew up. We always like to beat Nigeria.

“At Rostov were are on the same points as No1, we have played four, won three, drawn one. We have made a good start.

“The best was beating Anzhi Makhachkala, the richest club in Russia – they were the runners-up here in the league last season. We played very well, we didn’t concede a goal, we won 1-0. It was very hard. We managed!

“I marked Samuel Eto’o, the best-paid striker in the world. It was quite difficult! He was kept quiet (laughs), he tried, you could see in his face he was frustrated, he wanted a goal. But I was trying my best to keep him quiet.

“Playing at Rostov has taught me a lot. I have come here to achieve a lot. In South Africa we don’t have the concrete development structures they have in Russia. Obviously you have to work hard, we match them skill-wise but technically it’s much quicker than South African football.

“My team Rostov is doing very well, it means a lot Neal, as a player you always want to do well, financially and on the pitch.

“I think if you have a chance to play in Europe, your South African team should let you go. It’s good for our nation and it’s good for Bafana.

“It was very frustrating when I tried to leave. At first I went to Barcelona, I was going to go but the president left. They were impressed, Atletico Madrid then offered me a contract and Mamelodi Sundowns said it wasn’t good enough.

“When I had the opportunity to go to Russia, they did it again, but I got here in the end. I don't understand why South African clubs make it so difficut.

“I think any young South Africa with a chance to go overseas should take it. It’s hard, you miss home, but it’s worth it. You become a better player.

“I hope I get to prove that against Botswana next month.”

BOLLOCKZ! my show on, airs every Thursday from 10am-noon. See my Siyanda Xulu interview below - and further videos on the Ballz site, where I talk to Shakes Khunwane, THE MOLE and Oluwashina Okeleji of the BBC World Service about Bafana's abject defeat against Nigeria.

You can also follow me on for all the latest sports news… and read my “Neal & Pray” column every Tuesday A shorter version of THIS story will be published in The New Age on Tuesday.

BOLLOCKZ! is backed by - have a look at their site for my latest sports betting advice!

1 comment:

  1. Neal since when is samuel Eto the world best player?????