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Mamelodi Sundowns’ Zungu argues he didn't fail in Europe, explains why he returned home

6:00 PM SGT 18/11/22
Bongani Zungu, Mamelodi Sundowns, October 2022
Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Bongani Zungu has dismissed the notion that he failed in Europe as he explains why he came back to the PSL.
  • Zungu comments on return to the PSL
  • 30-year-old dismisses talk of failing abroad
  • Sheds further light on his perceived problems

WHAT HAPPENED? Zungu returned to Sundowns in August, after previously leaving the club in 2016 to pursue opportunities in Portugal, Scotland and France. Before returning to South Africa, Zungu had the chance to remain in Europe but opted to rejoin Sundowns amid reports Kaizer Chiefs were also interested in him. He says he came back to the PSL for personal reasons and it has nothing to do with football.

WHAT ZUNGU SAID: “Nothing went wrong,” said Zungu as per Times Live. “I made a decision with my family to come back to South Africa because of personal reasons. I don’t have regrets about my career. It is just like anything in life where you go through ups and downs. That’s what happened with me. I am not the last person who will go through such an experience. Other people face similar situations and coming back doesn’t mean there was something wrong or I failed.

“People can say whatever they want. I am happy because I came from nothing and I worked hard to play in Europe. I came back because of personal reasons and that’s all. My reasons [for coming back] had nothing to do with football, they are about life - I just made a decision. Maybe you are thinking contracts, but unfortunately, I can’t tell you because it is personal.

“There is nothing about failing. I am happy, my family is proud of me and I am proud of myself. Now I am at Sundowns and there is no looking back. I have to try to help the team reach even greater heights.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Zungu is counted among players who have returned to the PSL while still in their prime in recent seasons after stints overseas. His Sundowns teammates Andile Jali, Rushine de Reuck, Bradley Ralani and Moroccan defender Abdelmounaim Boutouil have previously played in Europe. Other high-profile stars like the Kaizer Chiefs duo of Keagan Dolly and Kgaogelo Sekgota as well as Orlando Pirates striker Kermit Erasmus have also been with European clubs in the past. Al Ahly attacker Percy Tau is back in Africa after previously enjoying Uefa Champions League football with Club Brugge and being in the books of Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion.

STORY IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR ZUNGU? Zungu is yet to reestablish himself as a regular player at Sundowns. After making just two league appearances so far this season, the midfielder would be hoping for more game time after the current Fifa World Cup break.