"For me he’s arguably one of the best left-backs produced in the country and I’m not saying this because he’s my brother. He inspires me a lot and I call him all the time when I need advice.
"He calls me all the time after a match and ask me questions about the game. He’s there to help me and I'm grateful for him.”
At the beginning of last season Maela, 29, had doubts about his career lasting as long as Masilela's when he had a groin injury that kept him out of the 2021-22 campaign for five months. He was injured in a preseason game against Kaizer Chiefs.
Pirates struggled without Maela, especially in the DStv Premiership where they ended in sixth place and outside of competing in one of the two Caf competitions in the coming campaign.
Missing Caf competition is something t Maela thinks may help Bucs win something domestically in 2022-23 as their schedule will be lighter, but not in terms of the growth of their players.
“I think it goes both ways," he said.
"As players we obviously want to play and compete at the highest level and play the biggest competitions. But it’s also no secret that playing continental football takes a lot from the players.
"Does it give us an extra advantage competing only for the domestic titles? Yes. But it's also is a huge disadvantage not playing continental football.
"When you play in those tournaments you improve a lot. Those tournaments are not easy and as a player those are the competitions you want to play."
Pirates open their Premiership campaign against Soweto rivals Swallows FC at Orlando Stadium on August 6.