Veteran midfielder Teko Modise has revealed the astonishing truth about how Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza robbed him of an opportunity to play in Europe.
During his time at Pirates, Modise in consecutive seasons won the PSL Footballer of the Year award – in 2008 and 2009 – and was also named SAFA Footballer of the Year.
While speaking at the launch of his biography, 'The Curse of Teko Modise', the 37-year-old revealed how Khoza – who is known as the 'Iron Duke' – prevented him from furthering his promising career in Europe.
The Bafana Bafana international's local success saw him linked with a move to Premier League sides Aston Villa, Manchester City and Wigan.
"At the time I was the only local player playing regularly in the national team," Modise said.
"So I remember my Bafana Bafana team-mates saying at the time asking what I was doing still playing local football.
"I went to Irvin who said to me: 'Ja, you're getting influence by Benni and Steven Pienaar because all of a sudden now you want to go overseas'."
Modise goes on to detail how Khoza refused to hold meetings with him to discuss a potential move to Europe.
"The reason why I signed for Orlando Pirates is because I saw players before me going overseas so I thought that if I perform well there the chances are that I will go overseas," Modise said.
"When I showed up for a meeting with Irvin they told me that he wasn't there, but then I could see his car in the parking lot … and those were the days before Uber so there was no way he wasn't there."