“My father didn’t want me to play soccer. He told me many soccer players get hurt. My father worried about me”. This is what Pule “Ace” Ntsoelengoe told Learn and Teach.
But Pule “Ace” Ntsoelengoe did not listen to his father. He was like other little boys. He loved soccer too much. He played soccer with the other boys in the streets of Motlhakeng Township, Randfontein.
” All the boys in the township loved to play soccer, ” says Ace.
“We all played for teams. I played for a team called Home Stars”.
Then one day Home Stars played Kaiser Chiefs. Kaiser Chiefs is also called Amakhosi.
” I was scared, ” says Ace. “I had heard about the great Amakhosi. But I played well. I scored a goal.
“After the game, the owner of Amakhosi, Kaiser Motaung, spoke to me. He asked me to join Amakhosi. I was only 17 years old.”
Pule ” Ace” Ntsoelengoe joined Amakhosi. The fans loved to watch him. Ace was young. But he was quick and clever. He passed the ball straight and fast.
When Ace got the ball, the fans shouted: “A a a y ce! A a a y ce! “.
Now Ace is 28 years old. And the fans still love him. They still shout: “Aaay ce! A a a y ce!” when he gets the ball.
In 1973, Ace went to play soccer in America. He has played soccer in America three times.
Now Ace plays for two teams. He plays for Kaiser Chiefs in South Africa. And he plays for a team in America called Minesota Kicks.
“I like playing soccer in America”, says Ace.
” I play with great players from all over the world. Lots of great players play in America. They play there because the money is good.”
Ace has met the great Pele. Pele comes from Brazil. People say he is the best soccer player in the world.
I met Pele when he played for New York Cosmos”. says Ace. ” Pele is the best soccer player I have ever seen. He is like magic with the ball. And he is a good sportsman. He never plays dirty and he never argues with the referee. He is a real gent!eman.
Pule Ace Ntsoelengoe loves soccer. “The game has been good to me” says Ace. “When I get old, I want to give something back to the game. I will coach the young players. They are the stars of tomorrow.”
Ace came back from America in September, 1981. He came back limping. He broke his knee playing soccer. Now Ace is getting better. But his father was not wrong. Soccer is a dangerous game.