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Mamelodi Sundowns v Bidvest Wits

Nedbank Cup: Close friend Jali won't hear the end of it if Bidvest Wits beat Mamelodi Sundowns - Monare

12:58 BST 05/08/2020
Thabang Monare, Bidvest Wits, 2019
Football returns this weekend with all eyes on the match between the Students and the Brazilians, and again on the two midfielders

Bidvest Wits midfielder Thabang Monare has revealed how his friendship with Mamelodi Sundowns star Andile Jali is helping both of them to always be on their toes whenever taking to the field.  

The two players are likely to face each other when the Students visit the Brazilians in the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup on Saturday night, and Monare admits they cannot avoid each other on the field. 

"Yes‚ we are very close friends and our rivalry on the field is healthy," Monare told Sowetan LIVE.

"It helps us to push each other so that we can be the best that we can be. We see it as part of pushing each other to the limits and competing against each other because of the position we play‚ we can’t avoid each other on the field," he said.

Jali is known as a tough-tackler but Monare said he will not pull out in a 50/50 situation with Jali just because they are close friends. 

"If there is a 50/50 situation during the match‚ I will go in to win the ball. That’s the way it is because we are competing for our teams," he continued. 

Monare recalled how the public came to know he was Jali's close friends after keeping it away from the fans for so long, including other players such as Lehlohonolo Majoro and Aubrey Ngoma.    

"Last time he called me out on social media and it got the attention of football fans.

"It was the first time he took our little personal attacks on WhatsApp to the public. We always chatted on our WhatsApp group which includes other good friends Aubrey Ngoma and Lehlohonolo Majoro," he added. 

"It is a funny group and before matches they will be telling us how they are going to smash us and we will be doing the same," 

The Malahleni-born midfielder has, however, admitted that they have not talked about the upcoming game but said Jali won't hear the end of it if Wits beat Sundowns and seal their passage to the Nedbank Cup final.   

"We haven’t really discussed the game but deep down we do know that we will be coming against each other. There is always that talk about us whenever Sundowns plays against Wits and this time is no different‚" he said.

"I know that he (Jali) wants to win and I also want to win. I have not won against him and I am dying to beat him because he will never hear the end of it.

"It is the same with him when Sundowns have beaten us‚ he talks about it a lot to try to get to me. That is also part of the motivation and he will not hear the end of it if we win on Saturday.”