Ruud Krol ranks Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa in top-five best midfield partnerships

The midfield duo have been reunited at Mamelodi Su
The midfield duo have been reunited at Mamelodi Sundowns.

Former Orlando Pirates manager Ruud Krol has showered Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa with praise, claiming they form part of his best-ever midfield partnerships over his coaching career.

Krol signed Jali for Pirates in July 2009 after he impressed the Netherlands legend during a Nedbank Cup fixture between the University of Pretoria (TUKS) and Ajax Cape Town.

Scroll through the gallery above to see images of Manyisa and Jali over the past decade

And his arrival coincided with the emergence of Manyisa, who was developed as a right-back by the Dutchman before flourishing in deep-lying playmaker role alongside the more dynamic Jali.

READ: Krol reveals why he really left Pirates

The duo formed a telepathic understanding together in Krol's fluent 4-2-3-1 formation, with Isaac Chansa and Thulasizwe Mbuyane, often playing in the attacking midfield role to complete the diamond.

Despite being small in stature, the fearless combination was an integral part of the Buccaneers double-treble winning campaigns and Krol admits he rates them very highly.

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"We had a strong midfield, I saw Jali [for the first time] playing against Ajax in a cup match and then I never knew that Pirates had already signed the small winger on the left [Aubrey Ngoma]," Krol tells

"I saw Jali in this midfield, it was the first match I watched in South Africa that wasn't involving Pirates. So I told Pirates directly they must sign this midfield player because I loved him.

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"And after [signing him] of course in my mind, he was a very good player - we also had the one from Zambia [Isaac Chansa] and the other one [Mbuyane] who played behind the striker.

"I would rate the Jali, Manyisa combination in my top-five, they were very very good together."

Jali went on to leave Pirates for KV Oostende in Belgium in 2014 and spent four years abroad before returning to South Africa with Mamelodi Sundowns, where he reunited with Manyisa at Chloorkop.

Story by: Lorenz_KO

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