Football star Teko Modise bought his slick dream car, an Aston Martin DB9 worth “more than a million” rands, simply to enjoy it, but in the end it only brought him grief.
Modise admitted to City Press, a day before the launch of his memoir this week, that many soccer players compete with each other off the field more than they do on it. It’s a competition about who has the most luxurious car which they believe can attract the most women.
“It’s sad that, as footballers, we’re always competing about cars – if not girls – but we hardly compete on the pitch,” he said before the launch of The Curse of Teko Modise, written by Nikolaos Kirkinis.
“As a footballer, when you get an opportunity, you fulfil your dreams and buy things that make you feel better and happy about yourself.
“I was feeling depressed, especially after the World Cup and I was going through a lot [in my personal life] during that time at Orlando Pirates,” he said.
When he bought the Aston Martin, he was trying to distract himself from his difficulties and the only joy he had at the time was the expensive car, which sells for between R1.7 million and R2.7 million.
The Cape Town City midfielder said driving an expensive car was, he believed, a huge achievement. However, it created problems with his fellow footballers. They began questioning how much he was earning and starting demanding higher salaries.
In 2015, Modise was reported to be one of the Premier Soccer League’s highest-earning footballers, raking in about R450 000 a month.
“I think the mistake people make and don’t talk about in South Africa is that when you are still playing, they think you’re getting a salary so high that when you retire you will be fine. But we’re not like [Barcelona midfielder Lionel] Messi, who gets millions of rands per game,” he said at the time.
The relationship between Modise and his club became strained. He was the only player driving a super pricy car.
“It wasn’t long before I was called into the office and my officials told me not to drive it to training anymore, because the other players would see it and think I was the highest-paid player,” he said.
Modise said that although it is great to reward yourself and buy something that makes you happy, he regrets buying the wheels.
“I didn’t realise it was the biggest mistake I’ve made in my life.”
Modise’s advice to other soccer players is: “As much as we come from difficult backgrounds, let’s not try to impress people. A car is not an investment. Let’s invest money for the sake of our children’s futures.”
Defender Tsepo Masilela, who is currently signed to Kaizer Chiefs, owns a red Ferrari 458 Italia worth R4 million and a limited edition Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG electric drive car apparently worth R3 million. This brings Masilela’s vehicle bill to an eye-watering R7 million.
The most popular makes of cars South Africa’s top flight footballers like to drive include Ferrari, Range Rover, BMW, Golf GTI, and Mercedes-Benz.
In the flashy vehicle stakes, Kaizer Chiefs players are at the top of the league.
Although Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala does a great job of endorsing his sponsored Lexus RC 350 F Sport on Instagram, he has his own little fleet. This includes a Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG, a white Range Rover and a BMW 125i cabriolet which, together, are easily worth a few million.
Chiefs striker Bernard Parker is not ashamed to show off his Range Rover Sport, worth over R1 million.
Mamelodi Sundowns players appear to occupy second position in the flashy vehicle league, but seldom show off their machines on social media.
However, midfielder Oupa Manyisa drives a BMW M4 worth R900 000. His team-mate, Zambian goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, drives a BMW X5, which starts at R887 000 brand new.
Midfielder George Lebese drives a Mercedes-Benz AMG C43 Coupe, which sells for over R700 000.
Orlando Pirates appear to be better on the field than in the vehicle stakes and, by City Press’s reckoning, they appear to be in third position.
Goalkeeper Thapelo Jackson Mabokgwane drives a Range Rover Sport worth more than R1 million.
Defender Happy Jele drives a slick Lexus worth R800 000. Midfielder Thabo Rakhale drives a BMW 1 Series worth about R650 000.