Lerato Shabangu, a former South African football sensation who gained prominence in the 1990s, has experienced a tragic downfall. His professional journey began in 1992, playing for local Pretoria teams, eventually leading to his stint with the Mamelodi Sundowns club in 1995, where he clinched numerous championship titles.
During the peak of his career, Shabangu earned recognition as one of the finest players of his generation, enjoying immense popularity among fans. Coupled with his talent, he was a well-compensated athlete, amassing considerable wealth.
However, after his retirement from football in 2006, Shabangu’s financial downfall commenced. Engaging in extravagant spending, he indulged in luxury cars, houses, and lavish parties, depleting his wealth rapidly.
As the years passed, Shabangu faced severe financial turmoil, necessitating the sale of all his properties. Eventually, he found himself residing in a modest rented house.
“I blew all my money on useless things because I was always guaranteed a salary the following month,” Chabangu once told local media in an interview.
“We used to finish training by 11 a.m., and thereafter, you are free to do whatever you want. We would go to Shisanyama after training and chill there over a few drinks, and it just became a habit,” he continued.
Beyond financial woes, Shabangu grappled with alcoholism, facing multiple arrests for drunk driving and a car accident in 2017.
Presently, Lerato Shabangu lives in poverty, relying on the support of his family and friends. His story serves as a poignant reminder of the repercussions of mismanaging wealth and life post-football.