From riches to rags, this is how we describe the life of most soccer players in Mzansi. Most people believe that as a sportsperson, you make cold hard cash, especially if you are affiliated with the most recognised teams or the national team.
This idea could be true; however, the trick comes with being equipped with skills on how to manage the money.
The lack of this skill has rendered some of the most talented players broke after their retirement. This list of the South African PSL football players who went broke will highlight how serious this issue is.
Siphiwe Tshabalala recently spoke about the plight of football players who retire impoverished. He alluded to players spending more than half of their lives playing the sport only to go bankrupt.
He also spoke about the need to change the narrative, stating that most footballers are preoccupied with wealth and living flashy lifestyles without considering how their lives will be when they retire.
1. Philemon Masinga.
Philemon Masinga was a well-known footballer and manager from South Africa. His heyday was between 1990 and 2002. The star was a member of the South African squad that competed in the 1998 World Cup. He was a well-known businessman in addition to being a soccer player.
However, in such a short time, he went from hero to zero. He was compelled to move from his mansion to his mother’s house in Soweto. Philemon Masinga died in January 2019 after suffering from an unspecified illness for several months.
2. Thembinkosi “Terror” Fanteni.
Fanteni was a talented striker who represented his country in the 2008 African Nations Cup and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. In Israel, he played for Ajax Cape Town, Bidvest Wits, Orlando Pirates, and Maccabi Haifa.
The gifted striker enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, and when he was not associated with any team, he lost the assets he had amassed over time. In a 2014 interview, he admitted that he was struggling to make ends meet. That is how he ended up on the list of former PSL players who are now bankrupt.
3. Junaid Hartley.
Junaid Hartley is a former Orlando Pirates midfielder. Even though he had made a dime from his football career, his finances plummeted after he decided to part ways with the Orlando Pirates. He spent his money on lawyers to represent him in court.
During an interview with Kickoff, he revealed that he was bankrupt. He became addicted to drugs as a result of his frustrations on the journey. After ten years of living a miserable life, he was given the opportunity to coach the under-11 team at Education Through Soccer Academy.
4. Jethro “Lovers” Mohlala.
Mohlala was a legendary defender at Mamelodi Sundowns, where he was a member of the teams that won the Castle Premiership in 1998, 1999, and 2000. When his career was at its peak, he was perceived to be living a flashy lifestyle, as evidenced by his acquisition of showy BMWs.
However, he lost all of his wealth just three months after retiring. He is currently one of the bankrupt ex-PSL players. He stated in an interview with Kickoff that he currently lives on a farm with his cows.
5. Ndumiso Vezi.
Ndumiso Vezi was one of Ajax Cape Town’s most promising players. As a midfielder, he wowed his fans with his unrivaled ability to get past defenders at breakneck speed. However, the talented soccer player currently lives at his parents’ house without a source of income, relying on his father’s pension to meet his needs.
Ndumiso has joined the ranks of PSL players who are currently bankrupt. His problems began when he was involved in a hit-and-run accident that left him hospitalized, after which the club demanded that he pay back the cost of his medical expenses.
This incident sparked a disagreement with the club. He had another altercation with an assistant coach and was asked to leave the training grounds. His frustration grew as he fought to have his contract terminated.
6. Willem Vries.
Willem Vries, 54, is a former PSL player who played for Bloemfontein Celtic Football Club. The former midfielder takes pride in his 306 starts for the team. His glory days in football, however, have been overshadowed by financial and health issues.
He is one of the retired PSL players who went bankrupt. During an interview with Kickoff in May 2020, he opened up about his hardships and how he was forced to work as a garden boy at Siwelele Park to make ends meet.
7. Mbulelo Mabizela.
John Mbulelo Mabizela is a former Premier Soccer League (PSL) defender. His professional career began in 2000, when he signed with the Orlando Pirates. During his time at the club, he was given the opportunity to join Tottenham Hotspur in 2003. He later played for a number of European teams before returning to South Africa.
Because of the numerous indiscipline cases related to his alcohol consumption, his career took a downward spiral. These incidents jeopardized his otherwise successful career. In 2018, he apologized for his mistakes and urged aspiring stars to spend their money wisely.
8. Jabu Mahlangu.
Jabu was a talented player who played for the Kaizer Chiefs. He had a promising career ahead of him, but his alcoholism and desire for a lavish lifestyle prevented him from becoming the world-class footballer he could have been. Instead, he declared bankruptcy. He is now a motivational speaker.
9. Lerato Chabangu.
Lerato Chabangu was a midfield maestro for Moroka Swallows and Mamelodi Sundowns. At the age of thirty-four, he is struggling to keep his career alive due to poor life decisions he made and claiming everything he had previously accumulated.
He is currently employed by Baberwa FC and hopes that his second chance will change his story. Speaking of the large number of ex-PSL players who are now bankrupt.
10. Benedict Vilakazi.
Benedict Vilakazi is a retired midfielder who has played for a number of clubs including Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, and Botswana Meat Commission, to name a few. The star had a bright future ahead of him.
His light was dimmed, however, by the series of disciplinary cases in which he was involved. He eventually retired at the age of thirty. He appeared on a TV show in 2019 and revealed how he squandered his money.