Thulani Serero

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Thulani Serero
Serero in 2011
Personal information
Full name Thulani Caleb Serero[1]
Date of birth (1990-04-11) 11 April 1990 (age 25)
Place of birth Soweto, South Africa
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Attacking Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 25
Youth career
2000–2004 Senaoane Gunners
2004–2008 Ajax Cape Town
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2011 Ajax Cape Town 63 (17)
2011– Ajax 67 (7)
National team
2006–2007 South Africa U17 15 (1)
2008–2009 South Africa U20 14 (1)
2012 South Africa U23 0 (0)
2011– South Africa 19 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 March 2015 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Thulani Caleb Serero (born 11 April 1990)[2] is a South African footballer who plays as a midfielder for Dutch Eredivisie club AFC Ajax. Prior to joining Ajax, he played for Ajax Cape Town in the South African Premier Soccer League.[3]

Club career[edit]

Ajax Cape Town[edit]

Born in Mapetla, Soweto, Serero is a product of the Ajax Cape Town's youth academy having been promoted to the first team in 2008, making his debut under then head coach Craig Rosslee. He made a total of 11 appearances in the regular 2008/09 PSL season, and managed to score four times, helping his side to a 7th place finish by the end of the season. The following season saw Serero become the first choice playmaker at the Cape club, making a total of 25 appearances during the regular season, and scoring twice. Ajax CT would finish in 7th place again that season, with Serero gaining much attention from the local media for his performances on the pitch.

During the 2010/11 season, under then head coach Foppe de Haan, Serero helped the Cape side to a 2nd place regular season finish, and helped his team to reach the finals of the Telkom Knockout tournament. By the end of that season Serero was awarded various accolades, including PSL Footballer of the Year, PSL Player of the Season, PSL Players' Player of the Season and the Absa Premiership Red Hot Young Player award. On 22 May 2011, he was signed by AFC Ajax for € 2,5 million.

AFC Ajax[edit]

Serero has had several trials with parent club AFC Ajax in the last few years. On 22 May 2011 it was announced that Serero had signed a 4-year contract with AFC Ajax and he stated it was 'a dream come true'.[4] In his final season with Ajax Cape Town, he managed to score 11 league goals, helping the club to a second-place finish in the South African Premier League. He made his debut for Ajax on 7 August 2011 coming on as a substitute player in the match against De Graafschap. He only played in a total of 6 matches in his first season with Ajax due to an injury. He scored his first goal for AFC Ajax in the home win against NAC Breda on 25 August 2012. Two weeks later he scored two goals against SC Heerenveen, receiving a red card and being sent off in the same match. On 1 September 2013 Serero made his debut in the starting XI of Ajax, replacing the newly departed Christian Eriksen, who had just left for Tottenham Hotspur, playing in the midfield. On 5 August 2013 Serero made his debut in the Eerste Divisie, playing for the reserves team Jong Ajax, who had recently been promoted. The match ended in a 2–0 victory against Telstar. On 26 November 2013 Serero scored his first international goal for Ajax in the UEFA Champions League, when he scored the opener of a 2–1 win at home against FC Barcelona in the 19th minute.[5]

International career[edit]

Serero has played for the South Africa U-20 team.[6] He earned his first cap for South Africa on 9 February 2011. He came on as a second-half substitute in a friendly against Kenya. He scored his first bafana bafana goal against Swaziland in a non-friendly match ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[7]

He was released from the national team squad due to disciplinary reasons the day before their 2014 World Cup qualification group match against Botswana on 7 September 2013.[8] According to Gordon Igesund, Serero had allegedly stated to the team doctor that he did not want to play in the match in order to avoid risking an injury ahead of an upcoming UEFA Champions League game for his club.[9] Serero disputed these claims, stating that he was genuinely injured and therefore wary about participating in the game.[10]

On 15 November 2014, Serero scored his first goal for the South African senior team in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Sudan, scoring in the 37th minute of the 2–1 win at home, thus helping his team secure a berth in the final tournament held in Equatorial Guinea the next year.[11]

Having contributed to his teams placement for the final tournament, Serero was cut from the 23-man selection to represent South Africa in the final tournament under head coach Ephraim Mashaba, having been called up for the 34-man provisional squad prior.[12]

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance[edit]

As of 19 March 2015[13][14][15]
Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
South Africa League Nedbank Cup Africa Total
2008–09 Ajax Cape Town Premier Soccer League 10 4 - - - - 10 4
2009-10 25 2 - - - - 25 2
2010-11 28 11 - - - - 28 11
Netherlands League KNVB Cup Europe Total
2011–12 Ajax Eredivisie 7 0 1 0 2 0 10 0
2012–13 9 3 1 0 1 0 11 3
2013–14 29 3 6 1 5 1 40 5
2014–15 22 1 2 0 9 0 33 1
Total South Africa 63 17 - - - - 63 17
Netherlands 67 7 10 1 17 1 94 9
Career Total 128 24 10 1 17 1 155 26

International performance[edit]

Statistics accurate as of last match played on 15 November 2014.[15]

South Africa national team
Year Apps Goals
2011 3 0
2012 4 0
2013 5 0
2014 7 1
Total 19 1

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list South Africas' goal tally first.[16]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
15 November 2014 Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa  Sudan
2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification



Ajax Cape Town[17]



  1. ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 – List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). p. 16. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Nkareng Matshe (18 June 2011). "Serero determined to succeed in Europe". IOL. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  3. ^ "Serero signs for Ajax Amsterdam". Ajax Cape Town. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  4. ^ Ed Aarons (23 May 2011). "Serero secures 'dream' Ajax deal". Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  5. ^ Derek Brookman (26 November 2013). "Ajax claim Barcelona scalp to stay in contention". Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  6. ^ Tiyani wa ka Mabasa (13 August 2009). "Masango ready for Ajax's U-20s". Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  7. ^ "Bafana Bafana defeat Kenya". 9 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  8. ^ "Serero released from Bafana camp". SuperSport. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Igesund explains Serero axing". KickOff. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Serero: I Was Not Faking Injury". Soccer Laduma. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "South Africa 2-1 Sudan: Bafana Bafana book Afcon place". Laduma. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Serero left out of Bafana AFCON squad". The Citizen. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Thulani Serero profile". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  14. ^ "Thulani Serero profile". Voetbal International. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  15. ^ a b "Thulani Serero profile". Soccerway. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-16. 
  16. ^ "South Africa vs. Sudan - 15 November 2014". Soccerway. 
  17. ^ a b "Thulani Serero - Career Honours". Soccerway. 
  18. ^ "Ajax pakt Eusébio Cup dankzij solo Kishna en save Vermeer". Voetbal International. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  19. ^ a b c d "Ajax Cape Town's Thulani Serero & Orlando Pirates dominate PSL awards". 
  20. ^ "Serero nominated by SAFA". 2 December 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 

External links[edit]