- Following the announcement of his retirement from the game, there’s no doubt that ex-Bafana Bafana star Reneilwe Letsholonyane truly deserves legendary status
- The former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder made his debut for Bafana in 2008 and made 50 appearances
- However, it was with Amakhosi where the 39-year-old Letsholonyane collected a massive number of trophies, including two league titles
- Briefly News takes a look at the glittering career of the former SuperSport United, Highlands Park and TS Galaxy campaigner
As one of the finest footballers ever produced in Mzansi, midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane announced his retirement from the game on Thursday. The former Bafana Bafana midfielder is hailed as one of the most professional players in Mzansi.
‘Yeye’ decided to hang up his boots at the age of 39 and he was a free agent at the time of the pronouncement on various social media platforms.
Briefly News takes a look at the man’s glittering career, highlights and achievements in a professional career he launched back in 2004 with PJ Stars in the National First Division.
Who is former Bafana Bafana star Reneilwe Letsholonyane?
He was born on 9 June 1982 in Soweto and began his football with amateur clubs such as Pimville Young Stars and Kagiso Masters before making a huge step to join teams in the lower divisions.
Letsholonyane also donned the jerseys of clubs such as Dangerous Darkies as well as Hellenic FC.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane breaks into professional ranks
In 2004, he switched to PJ Stars, who were campaigning in the NFD and featured in 49 matches while netting eight goals. It was there where he caught the attention of legendary Jomo Sono’s eye, who is dubbed the best talent scout in Mzansi and on the African continent as a whole. The dreadlocked midfielder played 70 games for Ezenkosi and found the back of the net on seven occasions.
Having stayed with the side from 2006 until 2008, Kaizer Chiefs came knocking as they were impressed with his ability to launch attacks and also break down the opposition’s attacks.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane joins Kaizer Chiefs
From 2008 until 2016, he was a darling with the Soweto giants' fans and helped the club collect a number of trophies. He formed a deadly partnership with Siphiwe ‘Shabba’ Tshabalala in the heart of the park.
The Soweto-born icon amassed more than 150 appearances for the Glamour Boys and has earned legendary status at Naturena.
Following the departure of coach Stuart Baxter at the end of the 2014/15 Premier Soccer League campaign, the club announced that the devout Christian was also departing - shocking the fans. He joined SuperSport United and reunited with Baxter in 2016 in Tshwane where he played 68 matches in a stint that lasted two years.
He then completed his move to the now-defunct Highlands Park but didn’t really make an impact as he was mostly handed a cameo role and acted as a motivator to the youngsters. He retired just after leaving TS Galaxy towards the end of the 2020/21 DStv Premiership campaign, a team that bought the top-flight status of the Lions of the North.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s impact for Bafana Bafana
The skilful anchorman made his debut for the 1996 African champions in 2008 against Malawi and went on to make 50 international caps while netting twice. He was part of the squad that faced the likes of Mexico, Uruguay and France in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Just prior to the global showpiece that was staged in Africa, for the first time in history Letsholonyane was also part of the team that faced the likes of Spain in the Confederations Cup on home soil.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s trophy filled cabinet
The man who also mixed his business skills with football enjoyed much of his success with Amakhosi. He won nine titles with the Soweto bigshots. He has two PSL gold medals, MTN8 trophies, Telkom Knockout Cups, a Telkom Charity Cup, the Nedbank Cup plus the Carling Black Label Cup gold medals.
The humble star continued to bring his winning mentality to Matsatsantsa A Pitori as he helped the team lift the Wafa Wafa and the Ke Yona trophies in 2017.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane launches coaching career
Back in March last year, SowetanLIVE reported surfaced that the former Bafana international was already planning for life beyond his playing days. Galaxy also announced they are willing to help the legend further his coaching studies.
According to KickOff, coach Owen Da Gama confirmed that Letsholonyane was busy with his CAF A Licence with the South African Football Association.
What the fans and legends say about Reneilwe Letsholonyane
@Hlompho_Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns said:
“May the next chapter be as memorable as the last one. Have enjoyed our battles through the years, helped me grow as a player.”
“Followed you at Cosmos with admiration. You brought so much joy to many of us in your remarkable role @KaizerChiefs. May the next chapter be great and rewarding.”
“One of the most disciplined players in the PSL on and off the field, you're a living legend Reneilwe.”
Kaizer Chiefs legend Siphiwe Tshabalala pays tribute to newly-retired Reneilwe Letsholonyane
Still on football stories, Briefly News reported that AmaZulu midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala has showered his former Kaizer Chiefs teammate Reneilwe Letsholonyane with praise following his retirement.
The Bafana Bafana icon says he was honoured to play together with the dreadlocked legend.
‘Shabba’ posted a very sweet message on Instagram and tagged the former footballer. The two players are credited for having played a crucial role for the Soweto giants in the past few seasons as they collected a number of trophies under coach Stuart Baxter.
“Honoured to have been a part of your glittering football journey. You have a good story to tell. The journey continues."
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Source: Briefly News