Veteran South Africa midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala has joined newly promoted Turkish top-flight side BB Erzurumspor.
This will be the first overseas move for the 33-year-old who has spent the last 11 years at South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Kaizer Chiefs.
During his long spell with the Soweto giants, Tshabalala made 372 appearances and scored 58 goals.
"I want to thank the supporters for their Love & Peace,’ he told Kaizer Chiefs’ official website "It has been a great ride for almost 12 years. I have enjoyed every minute of it."
Tshabalala has 90 caps for South Africa’s national team. Perhaps, he is best remembered for scoring the first goal of the 2010 World Cup on home soil in the 1-1 draw with Mexico.
Shabba leaves for Turkey— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) 28 August 2018
Captain, Siphiwe Tshabalala is leaving Kaizer Chiefs to join Turkish Super Lig side BB Erzurumspor
“I want to thanks the supporters for their Love & Peace. It has been a great ride for almost 12 years. I have enjoyed every minute of it”#ThankYouShabba pic.twitter.com/KzO0Mbs5UD
The dreamed move
Over the years, the midfielder has been tipped to move overseas a number of times, however, a transfer was never accomplished.
"I always wanted to play overseas, in particular in Europe, and I have never been shy to talk about that," he said. "It should have happened a long time ago, but I think that it's God's time. I am grateful that God is giving me this huge opportunity to showcase my talent in Europe."
He is believed to have signed a two-year deal with the Erzurumspor, a relatively new club founded in 2005.
People can say what they want about Siphiwe Tshabalala and his current form, but I still think he’s got plenty to give.— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) 28 August 2018
One of the best left foots in SA, an immaculate first touch and an attitude and professionalism that’s second to none. He deserves his chance overseas. Kudos. pic.twitter.com/QYu6MsAqBQ