The South African soccer team returned to World Football in 1992 after the apartheid ban was lifted. They won the African Cup of Nations in 1996 and have participated in three World Cups (1998, 2002 & 2010). In 2010 South Africa became the first country to host the FIFA World Cup from Africa. The following is a list of 10 of our best soccer players of all time.
10. Jomo Sono
Ephraim Matsilela Sono aka Jomo Sono was a former South African player who played brilliantly when their national team was banned from international competitions because of apartheid. He played with great players like Pele. Jomo Sono is one the best South African soccer players ever.
9. Siyabonga Nomvete
Siyabonga Nomvete was the South African Player of the year in 2000. He represented South Africa in four consecutive African Cup of Nations from 2000 and 2006. He was in two FIFA World Cups (2002 & 2010) and the 2000 Summer Olympics. Siyabonga Nomvete is one of the best South African strikers ever.
8. Doctor Khumalo
Doctor Khumalo was the South African player of the year in 1992 and was named 62nd in the Top 100 Great South Africans of all time poll in 2004. He represented South Africa in the 1996 African Cup of Nations and the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
7. Sibusiso Zuma
Sibusiso Zuma won the Danish league in 2001 and was named Copenhagen FC player of the season that year. He was the 29th World Footballer of the year in 2001 and was named into Copenhagen hall of fame in 2005. He represented South Africa in four consecutive African Cup of Nations from 2002 to 2008. He was also in their 2002 FIFA World Cup team. Sibusiso Zuma is one of the best South African midfielders ever.
6. Mark Fish
Mark Fish was in the 1996 and 1998 African Cup of Nations all star team and was named the 4th African Footballer of the year in 1996. He represented South Africa in two African Cup of Nations (1996 & 1998) and was in their 1998 World Cup team.
5. Shaun Bartlett
Shaun Bartlett scored the goal of the season in the English Premier League in 2000 with Charlton Athletic and was named the 9th African Footballer in 2000. He represented South Africa in three African Cup of Nations (1996, 2000 & 2002) and was the top scorer in the 2000 edition with five goals. He scored two beautiful goals for South Africa in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
4. Aaron Mokoena
Aaron Mokoena is the first and only South African player with a century caps. He represented South Africa in four African Cup of Nations (1998, 2002, 2004, 2008), two World Cups (2002 & 2010) and the 2000 Summer Olympics. He was the captain of the South African team in the FIFA 2010 World Cup and was also Portsmouth FC captain in 2009.
3. Lucas Radebe
Lucas Radebe was a hero at Elland Road when Leeds United was a force to reckon with in the ‘90s. He represented South Africa in three African Cup of Nations (1996, 1998 & 2000) and was the captain of the South African team in two World Cups (1998 & 2002). He won the FIFA Fair play award in 2000 and was named 54th in the Top 100 Greatest South Africans of all time poll in 2004.
2. Pule Ntsoelengoe
Pule “Ace” Ntsoelengoe is the most talented South African soccer player ever. He was a legend with Kaizer Chiefs in the ‘70s before moving to the United States where he played for eleven seasons. He was in the North American Soccer League (NASL) all-star team in 1979 and 1982 and was abducted into the US Soccer Hall of fame in 2003. Pule Ntsoelengoe is widely regarded by many as the best South African soccer player ever but the apartheid ban denied him that spot.
1. Benni McCarthy
Benni McCarty is the all time South African top scorer with 31 goals in 79 appearances. He was the 5th African Footballer of the year in 1998 and 4th in 2004. He represented South Africa in three African Cup of Nations (1998, 2002 & 2006), two World Cups (1998 & 2002) and the 2000 Summer Olympics. Benni McCarthy was a joint top scorer with seven goals in the 1998 African Cup of Nations alongside Hossam Hassan and was in the all star team of the tournament. He was also the 2004 Portuguese League highest goal scorer with twenty goals. Benni McCarthy is the best South African Soccer Player ever.