Mamelodi Sundowns defender Arendse inspired by Ibrahimovic to play until age 40

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Sundowns, Wayne Arendse
The veteran defender’s professional career has spanned 14 years but he wishes to carry on

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse has admired the durability of AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic in football, saying he wants to keep on playing until the age of 40.

Arendse turns 36 later on this year, boasting of a professional career which started at Santos in 2006.

Now in his eighth season at Sundowns, the veteran defender has pointed to 38-year-old Ibrahimovic as a model in justifying his desire to continue playing.

“I still feel I can go more than four seasons, I am still strong. You can't really put an exact time frame on how long you want to play, but perhaps I can call it a day when I am 40 or so,” Arendse told Sowetan Live.

"Look at Zlatan... He's proving that if you have a good mindset and dedication you can keep on going. He's scoring goals in Italy after people had written him off.”

Arendse’s time at Downs has brought him major trophies like the Caf Champions League, Caf Super Cup and four Premier Soccer League (PSL) titles.

Arendse still has the hunger for more silverware as Sundowns are poised to defend their PSL crown.

The Brazilians are currently four points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs and with a game in hand.

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“We have a balanced squad, that's our advantage in the league,” said Arendse.

“We can win it with the team we have. You see our youngsters are also playing their role... your Keletsos [Magkalwa] and [Siphelele] Mkhulises.”

Downs coach Pitso Mosimane has a squad blended with youth and experience with Arendse as well as the likes of goalkeepers Denis Onyango and Kennedy Mweene, captain Hlompho Kekana, Tebogo Langerman and Themba Zwane being some of the longest-serving players at the club.