Chiefs legend Tsepo Masilela proud of brother Innocent Maela’s rise to Pirates captain

Tsepo Masilela (left) and his young brother Innocent Maela

Kaizer Chiefs legend Tsepo Masilela beams with visible pride when he speaks about the meteoric rise of his young brother Innocent Maela to Orlando Pirates captain this season, including tomorrow when the Soweto giants clash in the Carling Black Label Cup semifinal at FNB Stadium.

Ironically, Maela, the paternal young brother of Masilela, plays in the same left back position that Tsepo owned at Kaizer Chiefs from 2012 to 2018.

Speaking to ThisisFootball.Africa, the 37-year-old Masilela said football rivalry is non-existent when it comes to the achievements of his young brother.

“I am very proud of him and the career that he has built for himself. He knows that. Even tomorrow when Innocent captains Orlando Pirates, he knows that I will want him to play well and with respect for the team he leads and the badge he represents. That is how we were raised,” said Masilela.

The Amakhosi legend, who had a stellar career playing an incredible 108 times for Israel giants Maccabi Haifa (2007-2012), and a further stint at La Liga in Spain with Getafe, ironically believes he has very little advice to offer Maela about the captaincy.

“I can talk to him about staying humble, working hard and respecting people on and off the field, but I cannot tell him about how to lead a team. He is far much better than me at that. Remember, I was never captain throughout my career, and yet he captained Thanda Zulu Royals in 2016, and now he is captain of a big club like Orlando Pirates. He is clearly a great leader,” said Masilela.

The former Bafana Bafana star said he simply views the Carling Black Label Cup instalment of the Soweto Derby as a beautiful day for football.

“It will be very interesting because both teams are doing well. Orlando Pirates have just won the MTN8 Cup and Kaizer Chiefs are boosted by the Soweto derby win. All I can I say is may the best team win,” he said.

It is not surprising that the two Witbank brothers are super talented. Eric Masilela, the father of the two Bafana Bafana left backs, played for Witbank Aces which was also known as Black Aces.

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Tsepo Masilela (left) and his young brother Innocent Maela
Tsepo Masilela (left) and his young brother Innocent Maela