South African veteran Nomvethe announces retirement

Siyabonga Nomvethe playing in the PSL for AmaZulu FC Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Veteran South African striker Siyabonga Nomvethe announced his retirement from football on Friday.

The 40-year-old forward will remain with AmaZulu until the end of his current contract with Cavin Johnson's side, which expires in December.

Nomvethe hangs up his boots as the leading scorer in the Premier Soccer League, having found the back of the net 121 times domestically, while scoring 16 times in 78 appearances for South Africa in a 21-year career.

"It's time for the youngsters to take over. Football is about playing with the heart. I have done my part. I am very happy. It is time to say goodbye. Thank you to everyone who supported me along the way," Nomvethe told the media on Friday.

One of the few players to have played for both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, 'Bhele' made his breakthrough in in 1997 while at African Wanderers.

After spells in Italy with Udinese, Salernitana and Empoli, Sweden's Djurgardens and Danish side Aalborg among others, he returned home in 2009 and had arguably the best years of his career during a seven-year spell at Moroka Swallows.

He won the PSL Footballer of the Year and Golden Boot awards for the second time with 20 goals in 2011/12, and was also named League Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season.

Nomvethe has only featured once this season, in a 1-0 loss to SuperSport United in August.