Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs legend Khumalo almost joined Orlando Pirates and had to leave Aston Villa

21:10 SAST 2022/01/28
Doctor Khumalo during the 2021 Nedbank Cup Press Conference
The former Amakhosi assistant coach finally explained why he never played in Europe despite being immensely talented

Former Kaizer Chiefs superstar Doctor Khumalo has divulged that he almost joined Amakhosi's biggest rivals, Orlando Pirates.

The retired midfielder is widely regarded as one of the greatest South African footballers of all time and he played some of his best football at Chiefs.

Khumalo, who achieved legendary status at Chiefs, has disclosed that he nearly joined the Buccaneers before signing for Amakhosi in 1986.

"I almost joined Orlando Pirates but it was thanks to Bobby [Motaung - Chiefs football manager] and others that I ended up at Chiefs," Khumalo told South African FM on Friday.

"Pirates had already approached me. But the next day after school, I was told Chiefs want to see me. 

"When I got there, the Chairman had a contract, already signed by my father."

Khumalo made 397 starts through the three spells that he had as a player at Chiefs and he retired at the same club in 2004 after a stint as a player-coach.

The 54-year-old also revealed why he never played in Europe having had trials at Aston Villa in 1992 with the team campaigning in the top tier of English football.

"Some people ask why I didn't play in Europe," the former Bafana Bafana international said.

"But I went to Aston Villa for trials and we played Fiorentina in Italy. I realized this is not my kind of football. 

"It was 'skop and donner' (aerial football). I did a 'Show Me Your Number' (sold an opponent a dummy) and they swore at me. I decided to come back home."

Khumalo did ply his trade outside South Africa as he turned out for Argentine side Ferro Carril Oeste and USA's Columbus Crew.