Tam Nsaliwa

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Tam Nsaliwa
Personal information
Full name Tamandani Wazayo Phillip Nsaliwa
Date of birth (1982-01-28) 28 January 1982 (age 35)
Place of birth Lilongwe, Malawi
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1996–1999 Edmonton Southwest United
1997–1998 Edmonton Northwest United
1998–1999 Energie Cottbus
1999–2000 Edmonton Northwest United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2001 1. FC Nürnberg 3 (3)
2001–2003 1. FC Saarbrücken 43 (0)
2003–2004 SSV Jahn Regensburg 25 (1)
2004–2006 1. FC Saarbrücken 64 (0)
2006–2007 Panionios 27 (2)
2007–2010 AEK Athens 50 (1)
2009–2010 Lillestrøm SK (loan) 6 (1)
2011–2012 SD Ponferradina 7 (0)
2012 Esbjerg fB 6 (0)
2012–2013 Kavala 13 (0)
2013–2015 Bucaspor 20 (2)
National team
2001–2008 Canada 13 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 October 2013.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 December 2009

Tamandani Wazayo Phillip "Tam" Nsaliwa (born 28 January 1982) is a Canadian international football player who plays as a midfielder.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Nsaliwa was born in Lilongwe, Malawi. He moved to Edmonton some years after he played for local youth side Edmonton Southwest United. Apparently this was the first boys team in club history to advance to the Under-15 National Championships, finishing fourth in the competition. He then played for Edmonton North West United and represented the Alberta Soccer Association in all its subsequent youth select teams before moving to Germany at the age of 16.


He moved to Germany where he played for the Energie Cottbus youth program for one season, returned to Canada for one year and then back again to Germany to sign with Second Division outfit Nuremberg. While he only played a minor part, he won the league title to clinch promotion to the Bundesliga. However, unhappy in Nuremberg, he moved on to Saarbrücken and carried on to play on the second level for five more years, including one season at SSV Jahn Regensburg. He would go on to relinquish his Canadian citizenship to become a citizen of Germany (where he spent seven years) in 2007 to avoid local rules limiting the number of non-EU internationals permitted in a team.[1]


In 2006, he was lured to Greek Super League side Panionios by their new German manager Ewald Lienen and enjoyed his first season of top league football. In his first and only season at the club, as co-captain, he would go on to help them place fifth in the league ranking and thus securing a UEFA Cup position for the following year for only the second time in the clubs history. He did this with his second goal of the season on the final day of the season against local giants AEK Athens. Prior to the match it had been publicly speculated that he had already signed for AEK in that mid season, although he was also being publicly courted but the two other Greek Football giants Olympiacos F.C. and Panathinaikos FC. Some days after that game he went on to announce that he would join AEK on a three-year contract.

AEK Athens F.C.[edit]

In his first season at AEK FC, Nsaliwa would quickly win the affections of AEK supporters with his performance against Sevilla Fútbol Club in the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League Qualifying stage playing alongside Champions League Runner up Akis Zikos Akis Zikos and World Cup Champion Rivaldo. Although AEK did not advance he was singled out as a shining player for the team in the series and expectations had been placed on him based on it.

That season the club would be crowned "The Unofficial Champions of Greece" after a disputed Championship won by Olympiacos FC. The championship was handed to Olympiacos after the Greek Football Federation found an Austrian player(Vagner) from Apollon Kalamarias had played a game against the club illegally and thus awarded Olympiacos the three points that would subsequently take them two points above AEK FC and elude the club of yet another championship after 13 years.

In his first UEFA cup season with AEK, Nsaliwa went on to score the lone goal against FK Mladá Boleslav that subsequently saw AEK advance to the knock-out stage. Despite losing the following game to Villarreal Club de Fútbol at home, the goal proved to be the difference in AEK moving on to the next round. He would also go on to receive MVP of the last game of the season against Panathinaikos FC with a long range goal that tied the game at 1–1.

The following season, after a personally very bad start, again Nsaliwa would play a major role in AEK's third place finish to the season as well as be a part of the "Game of the Century" in the Greek cup final against Olympiacos FC. The match would go on to end 3–3, lasted more than three hours with two extra times and 19 penalty shots, with Nsaliwa scoring both of his, but AEK FC losing the game.

Nsaliwa's third season at AEK started and ended questionably. Struggling with playing time and injuries, it was discovered at mid-season that he had a falling out with the head coach of the club Dusan Bajevic and he would go on to state in Greek news "I played a major role in the last four games before the Christmas break and then when I returned I never trained with the team again."[2]

No insight has been given as to exactly what happened, but after an unsuccessful transfer period in which he refused to join several other Greek teams, Romanian club Rapid Bucharest and was speculated to have interest from a Premier League club, Nsaliwa signed a loan contract with the Norwegian top flight club Lillestrøm SK, a month after the end of the 2009–10 winter transfer period, which was to last until June 2010.[3][4]

Before leaving, there was speculation in Greek news that the president of AEK tried to stop the loan transfer and have Nsaliwa stay, but it was later made clear that there was no relationship left between the player and coach.

AEK would go on to write on its website "AEk FC would like to thank Tamandani Nsaliwa for his services to the club and wish him the best of luck in his future career."


After a rather mediocre loan spell in Norway, Nsaliwa was said to have signed for Spanish football side Real Betis Balompié.[5]

With the public backing of current Vice President of RCD Mallorca, former Betis coach and a former coach of Nsaliwa at AEK, Lorenzo Serra Ferrer.[6] Although it is not well known what happened in the time Nsaliwa was in Seville to finish the agreement, according to the official website of Real Betis, it was stated that "Nsaliwa will not play in the club because there was no economic agreement between both parties." After this, the player decided to sue the club for the amount he claimed was the agreed contractual sum of 900,000 Euros.[7]

After six months of being without a club, in January 2011 he went on to sign for SD Ponferradina in the Spanish Second Division.[8]


On 16 April 2012, it was announced that Nsaliwa had signed with Esbjerg fB of the Danish 1st Division until 30 June 2012.[9]

International career[edit]

Nsaliwa played at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina, alongside Julian De Guzman and Mike Klukowski among others.[10]

He made his senior debut for Canada in an April 2001 LG Cup match against Egypt and has, by December 2009, earned a total of 13 caps, scoring no goals. He has not yet represented Canada in FIFA World Cup qualification matches but did play a game at the 2001 Confederations Cup and three at the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

His last full international game for Canada was played against the Brazil national football team at Qwest Field in Seattle on 31 May 2008.

Personal life[edit]

Although he represented the Canada men's national soccer team at full international level, he renounced his Canadian citizenship to become a citizen of Germany in 2007 to avoid local rules limiting the number of non-EU internationals permitted in a team.


Canada men's national under-20 soccer team
1. FC Nuremberg
AEK Athens F.C.


  1. ^ "Team Canada turns to MLS for match against Costa Rica". thestar.com. 6 September 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ο Ταμ Ενσαλίβα στο Sport24.gr" (in Greek). sport.gr.msn.com. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Tam Nsaliwa snart klar for LSK" (in Norwegian). lsk.no. Archived from the original on 30 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Tam: – Godt å være på plass" (in Norwegian). lsk.no. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Oliver: "Nsaliwa es buenísimo; viene a suplir la marcha de Mehmet"" (in Spanish). lavanguardia.es. Archived from the original on 15 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Serra Ferrer: "Nsaliwa es buen recuperador, solidario y sacrificado"" (in Spanish). abcdesevilla.es. 14 August 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Nsaliwa pide 900.000¤ por incumplimiento de contrato" (in Spanish). AS. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Tam Nsaliwa presentado como nuevo jugador blanquiazul" (in Spanish). [SD Ponferradina. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "EfB laver aftale med erfaren midtbanespiller" (in Danish). efb.dk. [dead link]
  10. ^ Tam NsaliwaFIFA competition record

External links[edit]