Why Bongani Zungu was 'mad' and had to be calmed down by his agent on a flight back to France

“The most difficult thing was the fact that I went there. I did the medicals‚ the team agreed to a loan with an offer to purchase"

26 April 2020 - 13:45 By Marc Strydom
Bongani Zungu nearly joined La Liga side Mallorca on transfer deadline day from French League 1 club Amiens SC but the move failed having travelled to Spain and passed medicals.
Bongani Zungu nearly joined La Liga side Mallorca on transfer deadline day from French League 1 club Amiens SC but the move failed having travelled to Spain and passed medicals.
Image: Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images

Bongani Zungu says he was “mad”‚ and had to be calmed down by his agent on the flight back to France‚ when a loan to Mallorca in January fell through at the 11th hour despite the Bafana Bafana star having travelled to Spain to conclude it.

Zungu said terms had been agreed and he just had to sign on the dotted line for a move to Spain’s La Liga‚ where Mallorca had an option to buy the player after a six-month loan.

On the final day of the January transfer window Amiens SC failed to secure Kenyan Victor Wanyama from Tottenham Hotspur and the battling Ligue 1 club decided to hold onto their South African midfielder.

“The most difficult thing was the fact that I went there. I did the medicals‚ the team agreed to a loan with an offer to purchase‚” Zungu said in an interview on the internet-based MarawaTV.

“We agreed personal terms‚ I passed the medicals‚ and we were just waiting for one document‚ and just a signature.

“It didn’t happen. Personally I was mad. I was sending messages to the [Amiens] director saying‚ ‘But we spoke’.

“Because he called me the night before I left and said‚ ‘Are you sure‚ do you want to go?’. I said‚ ‘Yeah‚ I want to do this’. And he said‚ ‘OK‚ OK’.

“And‚ everything was good but it just didn’t happen. And only to find out that the president of the club [Bernard Joannin] just didn’t want to lose me yet.

“And‚ yeah‚ I had to come back and I had to be in training. I think it was a Thursday‚ and we had a game on Saturday.

“That is very difficult mentally. And also for the coach‚ because‚ what is he going to say to me?

“But‚ at the end of the day it’s part of life‚ it’s part of being a professional player. I’m strong mentally and I had to regroup‚ I had to understand that‚ ‘OK‚ these things happen’.

“And thanks to my agent too. Because maybe the flight was like 40 minutes‚ and he tried to make me understand because I was mad.

“I regrouped. And when I came back the games I played after this whole thing I was really on top of my game‚ I was fit‚ no injuries and no pain‚ and I was killing everyone.”

Zungu said Joannin explained that he needed the Bafana midfielder – in form this year – in Amiens’ relegation battle.

“The club apologised to me‚ the president‚ director‚ managers‚ they came and said‚ ‘Sorry this thing didn’t happen but now it’s time to regroup. We need you here’.

“I said‚ ‘Okay’‚ and continued the hard work.”

Zungu said he has a year left on his contract at Amiens‚ who were in second-last place when Ligue 1 was suspended due to the coronavirus.


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