Cape Town - Orlando Pirates captain and Bafana Bafana regular Oupa Manyisa opens up on life at the Soweto giants, his new PUMA boots, Bafana Bafana's AFCON chances and his dreams of playing for Atletico Madrid.
Q & A with Oupa Manyisa:
2015 is an
AFCON year – are you confident you will make the squad and what can fans expect
from the national team – can you win it?
Oupa Manyisa: It
would a great honour to be in the final AFCON team, I feel confident but the
final decision belongs to the coach. We have improved a lot this year, I am
positive we will perform beyond expectations.
teams will provide the biggest challenge and which players do you expect to
star at AFCON?
OM: It is not my nature to worry about the
opposition teams and their players, I focus on my strength as a player and do
my best all the time.
You have just
signed a deal with PUMA – what factors encouraged you to make the move?
persistence and patience to have me has been impressive, as a player you know
in your heart when you feel wanted and appreciated. PUMA gave me that feeling
from the beginning. There has also been a lot of positive talk by club and
national teammates, which made me take notice. More importantly, they have made
me realise how big my football profile is in local football and they will be
helping me to maximise the potential.
Which boots will
you wear and what are your thoughts on their look and feel?
OM: EvoSPEED. It’s
an amazing boot, light yet very comfortable. I was also afforded a rare
opportunity to see the ranges coming out next year, eye-opening stuff,
definitely game changing.
Pirates are going through some tough times in 2014. As captain what can you do
to lift the team in training and during competitive matches?
OM: Every captain has a different style, mine is to lead by
example. I will give my best at all times and hope that the positive energy
will rub off on my teammates. Every player has a responsibility to this
football club, we all have to play our roles and not look to what the next man
is doing or not doing. I am very positive that the results in 2015 will be much
better, I believe in this team.
What do you enjoy about playing for Orlando
OM: They are a massive team, every player’s
dream club. I consider myself very fortunate to be a member of this club and never
imagined I would be captain. When you do well for Pirates, opportunities are unlimited. I have won titles,
played in the CAF Champions League final and received a lot of admiration from
supporters all over the country. Half of the things I have achieved would not
be possible if I did not play here.
Do you have dreams of playing overseas – if so for which
teams in which leagues?
Yes I do,
every player should have that ambition. Spain would be my preferred destination
and Atletico Madrid are my favourite. A team built with precision and passion.
What is the attraction, besides money, on making the move
overseas and how would it benefit you as a player?
Locally, there is not a lot you can achieve beyond Orlando
Pirates. I have won a lot here and the next logical step would be overseas.
When you have moved to an appropriate league overseas you get to play against
the best players around and that benefits you in ways never imagined. When you
play and hold your own against the top players it naturally lifts you as a
player and shows you exactly what aspects you need to improve.
Your advice to teenage boys out there thinking of becoming a
professional footballer – choosing an agent, dealing with fame, investing your
Choose an agent with a good reputation, who
will put your career and interest first. Humility goes a long way, there are
many players that came before us and there will be a lot more after us, so grab
your chance and use it wisely. Many people change because of the money they
receive from playing football. I advise young players to invest wisely, be it
in property or whatever suits them. Football is a short and rewarding career, so
maximise the opportunities.