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HomeBafana BafanaEx-Chiefs And Pirates Star Hails AFCON-bound Monare

Ex-Chiefs And Pirates Star Hails AFCON-bound Monare

Bafana Bafana midfielder Thabang Monare has been hailed as one of the most underrated players in South Africa by Lehlohonolo Majoro.

Monare, 34, has been named in the final 23-man South Africa national team squad heading to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Having made his senior debut in 2015 under Shakes Mashaba, Monare has only featured four times in total for Bafana.

Two of those caps came under Hugo Broos in friendly games against Guinea and France in 2022 before Bathusi Aubaas, Sibongeseni Mthethwa and Miguel Timm were selected ahead of his future squads.

Speaking on the Better Pod recently, Majoro feels he should have been afforded more opportunities earlier in his career but in reflection, Bongani Zungu, Dean Furman, Hlompho Kekana, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Andile Jali kept him out of the reckoning for the past decade.

“There’s quite a few I can think of but I’ll mention one and I’m glad he got that breakthrough at some point, Thabang Monare, he’s always been a silent hard-working player,” Majoro said when asked who’s the most underrated player in the PSL.

“You will overlook him [as fans] but on the field, his presence is felt, he was at Jomo yes, but go back to Wits [days], that’s where he was [shining], with Xola Mlambo, Ben Motshwari, they had a star-studded team at the time.

“He’s always quiet, going about his business and making sure he cleans while people overlook him – it’s only now you can see, he’s at Pirates, that this is a player – he’s always been there.

“He got his breakthrough in the national team, even played against France, but Monare could have been one of the players [with more caps], I have like 10, 11 caps but like 40 national team call-ups.”

Monare is one of four central midfielders in the squad alongside Teboho Mokoena, Jayden Adams and Sphephelo Sithole.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.