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Sundowns Not Giving Up On Rivaldo

Mamelodi Sundowns are not giving up on Rivaldo Coetzee who is working around the clock to be ready for the 2023/24 season.

Coetzee, 26, is widely considered one of the most naturally gifted footballers in the country but has been plagued by injury since leaving Ajax Cape Town.

Having burst onto the scene as a teenager, after the club discovered him in Kakamas, Nothern Cape, he made his international debut under Shakes Mashaba as a 17-year-old.

After three seasons in the first-team, a dream move to Glasgow Celtic was agreed but he failed his medical and was advised to retire from professional football due to an ‘underlying issue’ with his right foot.

But Sundowns took a chance on him and lured him to Chloorkop, where it took him a full year before making his official debut for the club and has since racked up 96 appearances in the first team over the past five years.

Rivaldo Coetzee of Mamelodi Sundowns during the CAF Champions League 2022/23 Semifinal Mamelodi Sundowns Training Session at the Chloorkop, Midrand on the 18 May 2023 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The technically gifted defender was moved further upfield in a six role during the tenure of Pitso Mosimane, where he excelled but the last of his 25 senior caps came back in 2021.

And it appeared his career was fully back on track, but the 2022/23 campaign saw injuries limit him to just two starts for the entire season – but Sundowns still regard him as an important part of their future.

“I spoke to him, and he’s extremely positive and is working extremely hard in the off-season, he understands he’s got to have a top season and he’s a committed boy,” his agent Mike Makaab told iDiski Times about his future.

“It’s not as if he’s not committed, he’s just been plagued with strange injuries, sometimes this happens in a footballers career, but we’re hoping that we can get beyond it and that this season will be the turning point again in his career – because he is super talented.”

This website understands Coetzee has been offered assurances from the technical team that they will be patient with him as he looks to return to full fitness in the coming months.

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.