Vilakazi explains why he changed his jersey number from 11 to 24

Vilakazi explains why he changed his jersey number from 11 to 24

Mamelodi Sundowns star Sibusiso Vilakazi has revealed the late basketball star Kobe Bryant was his hero.

Sundowns fans all asked surprised questioned on the first day of the season when new striker Kermit Erasmus emerged wearing the number 11 jersey, “what is happening to Vila?” was the viral question.

“I wanted to change before the end of the season and for me, it was to honour my idol, Kobe Bryant. He passed away and I felt like I should use his number and relieve his memories even though he did everything on the Basketball court and my side I want to replicate that on the soccer field,” the Soweto-born player told Sundowns’ official website.

“He was my inspiration, I remember when he passed on I almost broke down in tears as he was someone I looked up too and it felt like I had lost someone close to me. He has had an impact in my sporting career as I could relate to some of the things he went through like being injured and winning championships and that has also happened to me. You know having an injury and coming back as if nothing happened.

The 31-year-old attacker also took the moment to offer an update on his long-term injury recovery.

“The recovery is going well as I am busy on the mend. In football, you do not have time as you are playing at a high level and there are quality players who are ready to fill the space and the space is small because of the players that are around. We tend to think we have time whereas we do not have, these days you get injured and you must work harder to get back into the team,” the Bidvest Wits academy graduate concluded.

Ka bo Yellow next travel to Cape Town City on Wednesday in the DStv Premiership.


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