Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Benedict Vilakazi has tipped Linda Mntambo for greatness, saying the Buccaneers star has the potential to surpass his goal-scoring record.
Vilakazi is Pirates’ all-time top goalscorer with 52 goals for the club he played for between 199 and 2007 as a midfielder.
With Mntambo establishing himself as a key player for coach Josef Zinnnbauer, Vilakazi feels that the former Chippa United man can become the club’s record scorer.
This is despite the player being 31 years of age and having scored just seven goals in all competitions since joining the Soweto giants in 2018.
“He has the potential to break my record and that is why I am happy. I am not that person who leaves the door closed. It is open and I believe that all of us need to grow,” Vilakazi told iDiski TV.
“The boy must not look back, he has the potential, he can do it. I’m supporting him all the way and I am behind him. I want him to do something we last witnessed a long time ago when a midfielder can create and score goals.
“I was disturbed that [Nkanyiso] Zungu and Mntambo were not even on the bench in the last game against SuperSport.
"Today [Saturday] Zinnbauer starts Mntambo. I was not really comfortable with that because psychologically it does not lift the player that the last game he was not there and now he is back to start. He may think that maybe the coach is testing me how strong I am mentally.
“But look, I said it before about this boy and I will say it again. It’s been a while seeing a midfielder who dies this and I just wish that this boy can continue working hard. We always cry that strikers are not scoring, But it is not only the job of strikers to score.
“Midfielders also need to create and score. This boy after a long period of seeing midfielders getting into those positions creating and scoring, if you check the past two games he has played, he has scored in successive games.
“The last game he was not in the team, look at him today he created a chance. I am not putting pressure on him but I love what he does, I will support him all the way.”
Mntambo played the entire match in Saturday's 3-1 Nedbank Cup win over Maritzburg United and provided an assist for Deon Hotto’s goal.
This was after the player had scored in back-to-back matches against Jwaneng Galaxy in the Caf Confederation Cup.