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HomeSouth African SoccerSundowns make Zungu 'fall in love with football again'

Sundowns make Zungu ‘fall in love with football again’

“He’s getting there and he understands but again with Bongani, he has struggled,” Mokwena said.

Rulani Mokwena has given insight into why Bongani Zungu has struggled to break into the Mamelodi Sundowns starting line-up after his return from Europe at the beginning of last season.

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The 30-year-old returned home to re-join the Brazilians after six seasons abroad where he played in Portugal, France and Scotland.

Zungu’s stint at Scottish giants Rangers was blighted by off the field issues while playing under Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.

Mokwena revealed that the former Vitória Guimarães and Amiens midfielder had become disillusioned with the beautiful game.

“He’s getting there and he understands but again with Bongani, he has struggled,” Mokwena said.

“Go back, don’t just look here now. He had a stint at Amiens and he was sent on loan to Rangers where he played a little bit and also had a little bit of off the field issues.

“He said to me the other day, and this is the starting point, he said ‘I’m falling in love with the game again’.

“That’s a big statement and you have to understand, imagine if you’re a player like Bongani Zungu with all the hardships you’ve gone through, the first thing you do is that you start to protect your heart from the game because it has hurt you so much.

“Now the process is to get Bongani Zungu to fall in love with the game again, to make the sacrifices for football again. To make football feel as number one again, that’s a process.”

Mokwena also revealed that the experienced midfielder who only made 10 league appearances last season has also been working hard in the gym to get back in shape.

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“He’s getting there, he’s looking trimmer, he has lost a lot of weight and last season when I said he needed to lose weight and you guys were also upset with the weight of Zungu.

“You now also have to publicly congratulate him for working so hard, especially because he’s shredded three or four kilos and that’s very difficult and again it’s a process but I’m very proud of him and very proud of the players, we have to manage these players, they are human beings and they are very delicate.”

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