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Tshabalala relives disappointing Turkey spell

Former South Africa winger Siphiwe Tshabalala

Former South Africa winger Siphiwe Tshabalala has shed some light on his horror spell at BB Erzurumspur, a club he spent one season at during the twilight of his career.

After spending more than a decade at Chiefs, Shabba finally got his move to Europe in 2017 when the Turkish club acquired his services.

Tshabalala ended up making 19 appearances in the Turkish Super Lig, mostly off the bench, and while he admitted his time in the country started off well, but quickly turned sour.

“I was well received in Turkey, supporters at the airport, chanting and taking pictures – they even accompanied me to the training ground in a convoy. It was a happy moment for me,” the 35-year-old told the SA Football Journalists’ Association about his spell at BB Erzurumspor.

“In the final days, there was a new coach and he changed everything, he liked my style of play and he said I would help the team.

“My name was on the team sheet during the week, when the day of the game came, I was on the bench. That was a shock.”

Tshabalala also said he didn't feel valued at the club, because at one point a player with a broken hand was preferred over him.

“My replacement broke his hand and they said he would not be in the team for a while, but he ended up playing," he added.

"I came to a situation where I said, if I play its okay, if not that’s still okay. When I did get to play, it was too late."

There was also a dispute over payment, with the club wanting to “cut his salary in half”.

“After that they called my agent and said they wanted me back, but we must renegotiate because we were now in the lower division [after the club was relegated],” Shabba explained.

“I was willing to go back and play, but when I arrived there things were now worse. The negotiations went south. It was difficult to negotiate. You can go three months without getting a salary.

"You can’t leave your own comfort, your country and go work somewhere else and not get paid and you don’t get to play. It was a situation that built me mentally, I learnt from that situation and I decided to rather terminate. That’s how I left.”