SO SAD: Chabangu falls on hard times!


Falling on hard times: From the limelight to personal challenges

Lerato Chabangu, a retired South African footballer who once donned the jerseys of esteemed clubs like Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport United, Moroka Swallows, and Chippa United, has recently spoken out about his difficult journey since stepping away from the game. Despite his successful playing career, which also included representing the national team, Chabangu revealed that he has fallen on hard times.

While he never officially announced his retirement from professional football, the 38-year-old midfielder gradually faded from the limelight after his last appearance for Chippa United in 2016. In a candid interview on Prime Sports with Mahlatse, Chabangu acknowledged the personal challenges he currently faces.

“It’s difficult, we’re all going through a lot. You know, when you used to get income and now you’ve got no income it’s difficult,” Chabangu shared on the recent podcast.

“The family were looking that you would give something back home, but now they see there is no income – they are disappointed. The name Chabangu was high, now I’m the laughing stock.”

Recently, Chabangu’s visit to former Kaizer Chiefs footballer Junior Khanye garnered attention on social media. The images of their meeting went viral, prompting Soccer Laduma to approach Khanye for insights into the encounter.

“It was a genuine visit and I just decided to visit Lerato as a friend of mine and there wasn’t more to it. Lerato is a former teammate of mine from the U20 and U23 national teams and that’s one of the reasons I decided to visit him just to catch up,” Khanye clarified when speaking to the Siya crew.

Khanye further explained that the viral images were not the intended result of their meeting. However, since then, Khanye has received inquiries from individuals expressing their desire to extend a helping hand to Chabangu, which he views as a positive response.

During his prime, Chabangu achieved remarkable success on the field. From 2005 to 2016, he scored over two dozen goals in the South African elite league and secured two league titles, the Nedbank Cup, and two MTN8 crowns. He also represented Bafana Bafana, participating in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana and the 2013 edition on home soil.

As Chabangu’s story continues to unfold, his openness about his struggles sheds light on the challenges faced by retired athletes. The football community and fans alike hope that his situation improves, and support pours in to help him navigate this difficult chapter in his life.

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