Top 10 South African Football Players Abroad

South Africa has exported some of the most renowned footballers globally and it’s no lie that we have had a great share of presence in the English League among other prominent leagues. See Top 10 South African Football Players Abroad

Daylon Claasen

Daylon Claasen

Born in Klerksdorp, Claasen played youth football with Leicester City Klerksdorp and Vasco Da Gama.He has played professionally in South Africa, the Netherlands and Belgium for Ajax Cape Town, Ajax and Lierse.

Claasen was released by Lierse in April 2013,and subsequently went on trial with Premier League club Everton the same month.

Claasen then went on trial with newly promoted Premier League club Hull City in July 2013, initially under the pseudonym of “James Armstrong” for a match against Winterton Rangers, where he scored one goal,before his actual identity was revealed two days later.

On 21 August 2013 he signed a one-year contract with Polish club Lech Poznań.

In June 2014 he signed a contract with German 2. Bundesliga club 1860 Munich.

Claasen made his international debut for South Africa in 2010.


Tokelo Rantie

Tokelo Rantie

Born in Parys, Free State, Rantie started his career in different academies, most notably the Stars of Africa Academy in his native South Africa.He proceeded to move to Ferroviário de Beira in 2010 and later CD Maxaquene in neighbouring Mozambique. In 2011 he moved to Sweden and Division 7 side IFK Hässleholm on a deal loan deal from Stars of Africa Academy as part of their co-operation to bring South African players to Sweden.

Rantie made his senior national team debut for the South Africa national football team on 15 June 2012 in a friendly game against Gabon, scoring his first goal for Bafana Bafana in the process.In 2013 Rantie was picked for his first tournament with South Africa when he was selected as part of the 23 men squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations held in South Africa.Rantie was selected in the starting line-up in the two latter group fixtures against Angola and Morocco and for the quarter–finals against Mali. He scored his only goal in the tournament in the quarter–finals, the goal resulted in South Africa taking a 1–0 lead, however the match was ultimately won by Mali on penalties after the match had ended 1–1 after extra time.

Dean Furman

Football - 2012 Nelson Mandela Challenge - South Africa v Zambia - FNB Stadium

Furman, who is Jewish,was born in the Camps Bay suburb of the city of Cape Town.[5] [5]Furman began his footballing career as a youth team player at Premier League club Chelsea.However, he did not make the breakthrough into the first team and so left the club.

Furman received his first international call-up for South Africa for a friendly on 19 August 2008 against Australia.He was an un-used subsititute in that match. Furman earned his first cap for South Africa in a friendly against Brazil on 8 September 2012.Furman earned his first man of the match award in the country’s 2–0 defeat of Mozambique on 11 September 2012.

Furman was selected for the final squad of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament hosted by his home country.In the second group match of the tournament, the Bafana Bafana convincingly defeated Angola 2–0 and Furman was named as Man of the Match.Furman played the full 90 in South Africa’s final group game, a 2–2 draw with Morocco, that secured Bafana Bafana top spot in the group and ensured their first passage to the quarter-finals of the competition since 2002.The quarter-final game against Mali on 2 February ended 1–1 after extra time and Furman had his penalty kick saved by Soumaila Diakité, as Mali won 3–1 in the penalty shoot-out.

Ayanda Patosi

Ayanda Patosi

Patosi played youth football for Mighty United, Vasco da Gama, FC Cape Town and ASD Cape Town.

At the age of 16, Patosi trained with Belgium club Genk.Patosi returned to Belgium on a tour with the African Soccer Development school.While there, Patosi signed a four-year contract with Lokeren in May 2011.

He made his professional debut for Lokeren in the 2011–12 season,winning the Belgian Cup that same year.

In November 2012, Patosi was hailed as a “sensation” and there were calls for him to be included in the national team set-up.

Patosi was tipped in March 2012 by fellow player Anele Ngcongca as a possible future star of the South African national team.He received his first call-up to the national team in December 2012.Patosi made his international debut on 12 October 2013 in a 1–1 draw against Morocco at the Adrar Stadium.

Against Australia in an away friendly in May 2014 Patosi earned his third cap. He scored the first goal of the match on 13 minutes. Though record Australian goalscorer Tim Cahill equalised just one minute later, as the match ended 1-1.

Ricardo Nunes

Ricardo Nunes

he son of Portuguese parents, Nunes was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and returned to the country of his ancestors where he started his football career. He first represented G.D. Estoril Praia.

After unsuccessfully emerging through S.L. Benfica’s youth system – he only represented its reserves, spending the 2005–06 campaign in the third division – Nunes continued playing as a senior in the lower leagues of Greece and Cyprus. It was in the latter country where he had his first taste of top flight football, appearing in the Cypriot First Division for AEP Paphos F.C. and Olympiakos Nicosia.


On 31 January 2012, after playing one 1/2 seasons in the Portuguese second level, Nunes signed a two and a half year contract with MŠK Žilina.In February 2014 he moved clubs and countries again, joining Bulgaria’s PFC Levski Sofia until June 2015.

Although Nunes was born in South Africa, he represented Portugal at under-17 and under-18 levels. This meant that he required permission from FIFA before he could switch allegiances to South Africa, after he had spoken with Gordon Igesund: “Coach Gordon Igesund phoned me [last month] and asked me if I would be interested to play for South Africa. My answer immediately was yes”, he said.

In early October 2012, Nunes was named in the South Africa squad for international friendlies against Poland and Kenya.During this announcement, Igesund said that “Nunes is a very exciting player” and that he is “a specialist free-kick taker”;he made his debut on the 12th against the former opponent, a 0–1 loss in Warsaw.

Kamohelo Mokotjo

Kamohelo Mokotjo

As a 12-year old he captained South Africa’s under-12 national team to victory in the 2003 Danone Nations Cup in France.

Mokotjo played one season for SuperSport United in his home country. In the summer of 2009 he signed with Feyenoord and went on loan to Excelsior. He returned to Feyenoord in the summer of 2010. After three seasons in which he could not fully impress, Mokotjo signed with PEC Zwolle in the summer of 2013.

Anele Ngcongca

Anele Ngcongca

Ngcongca hails from Guguletu on the Cape Flats, Cape Town. He went on trial with Arsenal in 2007 after being discovered by scout Colin Gie – the same man who discovered Quinton Fortune. It was while he was on trial that Arsène Wenger persuaded him to convert from an attacking midfielder to a right back, with Ngcongca eventually signing for Racing Genk later that year.

Ngcongca started his career at now defunct FC Fortune as a midfielder.

On 5 September 2007, Genk announced the signing of Anele Ngcongca on a 4-year deal. According to several South African newspapers the Belgian club paid around € 500,000.

He made his international debut against Japan in a friendly in November 2009. He was part of South Africa’s squad at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Darren Keet

Darren Keet of Bidvest Wits ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Born in Cape Town, Keet was a member of the Vasco Da Gama squad that won promotion to the National First Division in 2008 before joining Premier Soccer League side Bidvest Wits. He made his PSL debut with the Students in 2008 and quickly established himself as the club’s number one goalkeeper making 54 league appearances until he signed for the Belgian club KV Kortrijk in June 2011 on a four-year contract.

On 10 September 2013, Keet made his international debut for South Africa in a friendly against Zimbabwe at Orlando Stadium, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 loss. Before the match he told that he wanted “to prove my worth to South Africa”.

Thulani Serero

Thulani Serero

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.

Serero has played for the South Africa U-20 team.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.

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.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.Serero disputed these claims, stating that he was genuinely injured and therefore wary about participating in the game.

May Mahlangu

May Mahlangu

Mahlangu joined the Stars of Africa Academy at age 15 and played for their team Alexandra United FC.

Bo Nilsson was the manager of Allsvenskan club Helsingborgs IF in 2008 and through his connections with the academy he brought over Mahlangu to Sweden. Nilsson set it up so that Mahlangu would train with both Helsingborg and fourth tier club IFK Hässleholm each day, and that he would initially play league games for Hässleholm.After impressing in the Swedish lower leagues Helsingborg decided to permanently make him a part of their squad in the summer of 2009.In 2011 the club won the Swedish league and Mahlangu was given the player of the year award.

On 4 March 2014 Mahlangu joined Allsvenskan club IFK Göteborg on a one-year contract.

In January 2012 Mahlangu made his debut for the South Africa national football team in a friendly against Equatorial Guinea. He was also included in South Africa’s squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.



Show More

Related Articles

Read previous post:
2014 SA Sports Awards Nominees

  The nominees for the 2014 South African Sports Awards were announced at SABC 1 Studios in Auckland Park, Johannesburg...