Siyanda Xulu

Footballer

Kaizer Chiefs were livid when Mamelodi Sundowns
lured defender Siyanda Xulu to Chloorkop last season.
Amakhosi's anger is understandable, given the great
potential of the young man who is arguably the brightest
prospect in South African football at present.
Though only 18 years old, Xulu has already been called
up to Bafana Bafana and is in contention for a place in the
fi nal 23-man squad that will represent the country at the
World Cup. He joined the national team in the camp held in
Brazil. Xulu was again called up to be part of the squad that
spent three weeks in Germany.
If World Cup-winning coach Carlos Parreira thinks the
boy is that good then the sky can only be the limit for the
KwaMashu-born defender.
Parreira is not the only expert to have been impressed,
Xulu is the subject of keen interest from some big overseas
clubs. Arsenal are reported to be leading the race to take
the teenage sensation to the Emirates Stadium. Kick Off
recently carried a story that suggested the English giants
wanted him as a replacement for Kolo Toure, who now
captains Manchester City. But, faced with the prospect
of losing their prized possession, Sundowns were swift
in dismissing the story. Arsenal may be overtaken by
Barcelona for his signature.
The central defender, who partners the ever-popular
Matthew Booth in the heart of the Sundowns defence,
made an impressive 25 appearances for the club. To top
it off, he scored two goals. The club has rewarded the
youngster with jersey number 25, the number made
famous by one of the greatest captains to lead the
club, Michael Manzini, who won fi ve league titles with
Sundowns.
Xulu was dubbed Young Player of the Season at the
Premier Soccer League awards take place later in May.
�Phathisani Moyo

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