Bennett Mnguni has shared the secret of what made former Mamelodi Sundowns teammate Daniel Mudau the most lethal striker of his generation.
‘Mambush’ is still the Brazilians’ all-time leading scorer, having netted 172 goals in 390 matches during his 11 seasons at Chloorkop, and is one of only five players to have scored 100 goals or more since the formation of the Premier Soccer League in 1996 (alongside Siyabonga Nomvethe, Mabhuti Khenyeza, Manuel ‘Tico-Tico’ Bucuane and Collins Mbesuma).
Mudau on four occasions scored 20+ goals per season - a far cry from the current crop of strikers who often battle to reach double figures.
Mnguni believes a lot of that has to do with attitude and preparation, and he feels no-one was better at that than his former teammate.
“Mambush is one player that, whenever there was a game, he would prepare himself 120 percent,” the former Sundowns and Bafana Bafana midfielder tells SAFL.co.za. “Even in the training sessions he would run like he’s playing a game. Mambush in a game or in a training session … it was no different. Training sessions for him were like a final.
“When it came to the real game and we had a teamtalk, Mambush would always say: ‘Whenever you see me and you see the space, put it there and I’ll go.’ Defenders don’t like it when you make them run, and the thing with Mambush was he would make them look bad … like they didn’t want to mark.
“It was easy for him to score because if you don’t chase him, he was going to score. And you cannot stay with him five times. If you chase him five times, you’ll maybe get him two times, and the third time he’d score.
“And then of course you had Mambush and [Rafael] Chukwu. If Chukwu could turn in the box, we’d already turn around and celebrate. If Mambush had a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, we’d celebrate, because he will never miss.”
Mnguni initially joined Sundowns in 1998, and alongside Mudau won two successive League titles in 1998/99 and 1999/2000 under Ted Dumitru and Paul Dolezar before leaving for a three-year stint in Russia and China.