At 32, it does appear that the midfielder’s international days are behind him, though he has had another stellar season with Mamelodi Sundowns.
Modise helped Pitso Mosimane’s side finish the season with some silverware on Saturday, after they beat Ajax Cape Town on penalties in the Nedbank Cup final. And he then had further reason to celebrate on Sunday, picking up two gongs at the Premier Soccer League awards – the Nedbank Cup Player-of-the-Tournament and the Absa Premiership Midfielder- of-the-Season.
“I still want to play for the national team … I want to have that feeling again,” said Modise, who was a key part of Carlos Alberto Parreira’s side at the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
“It has been a long time. But I respect the coach’s selection, and what he is doing. He (Shakes Mashaba) is one of the bravest coaches in South Africa. Most coaches always go with the same team, and he has done something different, so I do respect him.”
Modise was substituted by Pitso Mosimane on Saturday, as Sundowns battled to break down the Urban Warriors. In the end, they were the width of a crossbar from losing in the shoot-out, but as it was, the Brazilians picked up a first piece of knockout silverware since 2008.
“Playing Ajax is never easy, and winning it was a relief,” admitted Modise. “We were happy we won it. We never wanted to go to penalties or extra time – we shouldn’t have, with the chances we created. But we can’t complain because what we wanted, we achieved.”
Sundowns are now looking to reinforce for next season, and Modise noted in particular the need for a new centre-back, now that captain Alje Schut has decided to return to the Netherlands. The Brazilians have also already got midfielders Keegan Dolly and Mogakolodi Ngele joining the Choorklop ranks next season.
“I think first of all we need to find a balance. Alje won’t be here and he was very important to the team, especially aerially scoring goals and defending well. That is one aspect we really need to replace. In other departments, to bring fresh legs and different dimensions, it will be good to see other younger players coming through and we will try to do our best as senior players to help them adjust. No matter how talented you are in a new environment you need to adjust quickly,” said Modise.
Modise also paid tribute to coach Pitso Mosimane, who has come in and helped rejuvenate his career at Choorklop.
“He is one of the best coaches I have worked with,” said Modise.
“What makes it easier is the understanding we have, and the passion he has for the game. There are certain similarities between us – he is very passionate and always wants to win.”