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‘Shalulile is not the most talented player’, says Sundowns coach Mngqithi

Peter Shalulile of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates his goal during the DStv Premiership match against Golden Arrows at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on April 12 2022.
Peter Shalulile of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates his goal during the DStv Premiership match against Golden Arrows at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on April 12 2022.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says the club’s red-hot striker Peter Shalulile is not one of the most talented players he has worked with.

Shalulile broke records and made history when he scored a hat-trick in the 6-0 win over Golden Arrows in a DStv Premiership at Loftus Stadium on Tuesday.

The Namibian international became the first player to score back-to-back hat-tricks in the history of the Premiership since its inception in the 1996-1997 season, and first Sundowns player to score more than 20 goals in the league in a single season.

Shalulile, 28, leads the league scoring charts with a whopping 21 goals and has scored 27 in all competitions.

Mngqithi praised the red-hot striker for his remarkable exploits and said Shalulile was one of the best in the Premier Soccer League simply by virtue of his phenomenal work rate.

“To summarise what I see from Peter, maybe the gods of football also look at how much application you put into the game, the level of professionalism,” Mngqithi said.

“He runs the hardest in the team. He works very hard and some will say he is lucky because of when you find him in positions where he taps in or scores with one touch or that little header.

“It looks like this guy is very fortunate but for me it’s when opportunity meets hard work that a lot of people will say you are lucky. That’s what happens with Peter.

“He has been a good example in our team who everybody can follow. The team is working hard in general but Peter is one of the most professional I’ve worked with. I don’t think he is the most talented of players.

“But because he gives his heart and soul to his game and to his craft, that’s why God gives him what he is good at.”

Shalulile is four goals away from breaking Collins Mbesuma’s 16-year-old record for the most goals (25) in a Premiership season.

Mngqithi said the striker may not play very good football but his sharpness in front of goals makes up for any other areas where he may be lacking.

“You will choose what you want. If you want someone who can dribble, Peter might not be the one,” the coach said.

“But if you want somebody to put the ball at the back of the net, he is definitely the one for that because he has always done that, even before he arrived at Sundowns.”

Shalulile will be looking to add to his three Caf Champions League goals when they travel to Angola to face Petro de Luanda in the quarterfinals on Saturday (6pm SA time).


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