Is there a curse in South African football that makes soccer stars broke after retiring? Very few local soccer stars live the same lifestyle after retiring, now you can add Papi Mbele to the list of former soccer stars who went broke. Former Sundowns player Papi Mbele now works in construction.
Mbele spoke to Sunday World and shared how his life has changed since leaving the football world. “In football you must accept it when your career is done, but life must go on. Football is similar to any work situation because you can be retrenched at any time. When it’s done it’s done,” Mbele told the publication.
Despite having six national caps under his belt, Mbele was clubless from the age of 28. After failing to make a comeback, Mbeleis now involved in community football and works as a construction worker to earn a living.
“Since then I have completed a C1 coaching certificate. I coach our local team, Black Swallows, that plays in the ABC Motsepe League as a way of giving back to my community even though I am broke. I’m imparting my knowledge to them.”