A bullet dodged: Billiat could have been a costly mistake for Dynamos Khama Billiat

Stanford Chiwanga, [email protected] 

THERE is no doubt that Khama Billiat was (possibly still is) once a star player for Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa where we won several trophies and awards.

 Who can forget his second-half brace as Sundowns defeated defending champions Bidvest Wits 2-0 in the league in 2017 to move to within three points of leaders Baroka FC with three games in hand?

Remember the two magnificent free-kicks he netted as Sundowns brushed aside Platinum Stars 2-0 in the league to extend their lead at the top of the table by four points in 2018?

Billiat’s highlight reel is something to behold, but of all his exploits in South Africa, Khama shone the brightest in the 2015/16 season, where he scored 15 goals and provided 17 assists in just 44 games, helping Sundowns win the league, the CAF Champions League, and the CAF Super Cup. 

He also won the PSL Player of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season, and Midfielder of the Season awards.

In 2018 he moved to Kaizer Chiefs, in one of the most controversial transfers in the South African league. Many thought Amakhosi would be untouchable with Khama leading their attack, but he was underwhelming. It was not surprising when Chiefs refused to renew his hefty salary – he was reportedly earning a whopping R800 000 per month before tax. Now the troubled talented footballer, who dazzled fans with his skills and goals while causing headaches for his coaches and teammates, has signed for Yadah in Harare. Many people expected Dynamos, the most successful club in the country, to sign him. But they missed out on him after Yadah swooped on him at the airport. 

Rival fans didn’t hesitate to troll Dynamos after Yadah announced that they had signed the player who was also coveted by Manica Diamonds and Ngezi Platinum Stars. But, in reality, missing out on Billiat was a blessing for DeMbare. In short, they dodged a bullet. Here is why:

Injury and fitness woes

According to Transfermarket, Billiat has suffered from various injuries during his career, such as groin injury, knee injury, broken leg, hamstring injury, Achilles tendon problems, hip problems, foot injury and muscular problems. He has missed a total of 95 games due to injuries since 2010. To compound his woes, he is not getting any younger. He is already 33 years old, which is considered old for a footballer. His age and fitness will affect his performance and longevity. He will not be able to keep up with the pace and intensity of the game. He will also be more prone to injuries and fatigue. 

At his age, Billiat’s fitness levels are likely to decline, making it harder for him to maintain top performance levels. Billiat’s recent injury and lack of fitness could also have significantly affected Dynamos’ title charge. A player’s fitness is crucial to the team’s performance, and having a key player sidelined due to injury can disrupt the team’s momentum and strategy. Investing a significant amount of money in an aging player with fitness concerns could have been akin to throwing money down the drain.


Billiat was one of the highest-paid players at Kaizer Chiefs. He rightfully demanded a huge amount from Dynamos but his salary could have created disharmony and resentment among the other players, who earn much less. In football, wage parity is important for maintaining harmony among players. A huge salary for one player can lead to discontent and jealousy, potentially affecting team morale and performance.

The “Ronaldo effect”

Billiat is a star player who likes to have the ball at his feet. He often tries to do everything by himself, ignoring his teammates. This can create a “Ronaldo effect”, where the other players feel obliged to pass the ball to him every time, even when he is not in a good position. This can make the team’s play predictable and easy to defend against. It can also frustrate the other forwards, who get less service and opportunities to score.

CAF tournament financial strain

Dynamos are competing in the CAF tournament, which is a prestigious but expensive competition. They need to travel across the continent, pay for accommodation, food, and other expenses. They also need to prepare well and perform well against tough opponents. Billiat’s salary could have put more pressure on the club’s budget, making it harder for them to cope with the demands of the tournament.

Discipline and behaviour

Billiat has been accused of lacking discipline and professionalism by some former coaches and teammates. He was criticised for skipping training sessions, being late for meetings, having a bad attitude and being involved in off-field controversies. He also reportedly disappeared from Kaizer Chiefs without communicating with the club, which angered the fans and management. He has not played competitive football for a year, which has also affected his fitness and transfer value.

To sum up, while Billiat is a talented and famous player, who could have brought much fanfare to Dynamos, he could have also been a risky and costly one. He has many issues that could have harmed Dynamos’ chances of success. By not signing him, Dynamos have saved themselves from an unnecessary headache. They avoided a potential disaster and preserved their team harmony, financial stability, and balanced style of play. — @plainstan

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