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Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Matlou reveals freak injury: 'I was told I could never play football again'

12:05 PM GMT+4 08/11/2022
Lehlogonolo Matlou of Kaizer Chiefs.
Kaizer Chiefs star George Matlou has divulged he had sustained a freak injury which put doubt over his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
  • Matlou thought his career was over before it even started
  • The skillful player has since played for the national team and in Europe
  • Chiefs are set to renew their rivalry with Pirates

WHAT HAPPENED? The 24-year-old midfielder suffered the injury during the Metropolitan Cup, a school tournament at Nike Centre in Pimville, Soweto as a teenager.
However, Matlou bounced back from the injury as he began his career at Bidvest Wits before being loaned out to Cape Town All Stars and Cape Umoya United.
The Soweto-born player, who joined Chiefs from Swallows FC prior to the start of the season, stated that he was grateful to local life coach Rhulani Mabasa.

WHAT DID MATLOU SAY: “We were playing a tournament called Metropolitan, which is a school tournament," Matlou told Kaizer Chiefs TV.

"We were playing in Pimville at the Nike Centre. In the first five minutes of the game, they passed me the ball on my left-hand side.

"I pushed the ball once and the second time I pushed it to my right-hand side, trying to cut inside, no one kicked me I was alone, so I just heard the sound of a bone breaking. While I was on the ground, I tried to move my feet, but I could hear the bones were touching each other,” he continued.

“I would say Rhulani Mabasa is the one who told me not to give up. I had a nail [in my leg] so I slept alone. I thought I wouldn’t play football again because that’s what they said at the hospital. It was not an accident. I was on the ground.

“When I thought of that, I remembered Rhulani once said to me “never give up” I worked hard to be where I am today."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Matlou has established himself as one of the most exciting midfielders in the PSL after returning to South Africa following a short spell with Portuguese club Sanjoanense.
The former South Africa under-20 international joined Swallows from Sanjoanense last year and he helped Amaswaiswai avoid relegation from the PSL.
His big move to Chiefs led to him receiving a call-up to the South Africa squad which took part in the 2022 African National Championships qualifier against Angola a few months after joining Amakhosi.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR MATLOU? The skilful player will be hoping to feature when Chiefs take on their Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates in a Carling Black Label Cup at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
The winner of the semi-final encounter will face Mamelodi Sundowns or AmaZulu FC in the final of the one-day tournament at the same venue.