Saturday, December 20, 2014

South Africa Greatest All-time 23 member team

South Africa 1996

This is my all-time team for South AfricaIf there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  

AlgeriaMoroccoEgyptIvory CoastSenegal,
North Africa, The Rest of Africa(excluding Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Nigeria and North Africa)

South Africa was an early pioneer in African football.  They were the founding member of CAF in 1956.  However, due to the Apartheid, they were expelled from CAF in 1958 and suspened from FIFA in 1961(finally, expelled in 1976).  Bafana Bafana reentered international football in 1992 at the end of Apartheid and played in the World Cup Qualifiers for USA 1994.  In 1996, they made a significant progress when they won the African Cup of Nations, held at home.  Bafana Bafana went on to qualify for France 1998.  In the Finals, they earned two draws in the group stage.  In 2002, they earned their first World Cup victory against Slovenia.  In 2010, South Africa became the first African country to host the World Cup Finals.  They went out in the first round, but managed to beat France.  

The first non-racial, singular football association in South Africa was formed in 1991, and named the South African Football Association (SAFA). Previously, there had been a number of different, racially divided football bodies. These bodies, the Football Association of South Africa, the South African Soccer Association, the South African Soccer Federation and the South African National Football Association came together to form SAFA on 8 December 1991.
World Cup Finals in 2010
GK:  Arthur Riley 
Arthur Riley had two caps for South Africa before leaving for England in 1925 to join Liverpool.  He spent 15 years there and played over 300 games. He was one of the first African-born players to make it in Europe. On 26 November 1939 Riley played in goal as part of an All-British XI versus the Football League, in the Red Cross Fund International.

GK: Hans Vonk
Hans Vonk was the starting keeper for South Africa at the 1998 World Cup Finals.  He played mainly in the Dutch league, notably with Heerenveen.  He also spent time with Ajax Amsterdam as well as Ajax Cape Town. He was capped for Holland at the youth level before representing South Africa 47 times at the senior level between 1997 and 2005. Vonk was born in South Africa.

GK: Banks Setlhodi
Setlhodi was nicknamed "Banks" because of Gordon Banks.  He played for Kaizer Chiefs between 1970 and 1985. He could play in various outfield position as well. He represented South Africa twice in the 1970's before the international ban on South Africa due to the apartheid. He played for the multi-racial national team that beat Rhodesia 7-0 in 1977.

RB: Ryder Mofokeng
Ryder Mofokeng was born in 1950. He was the captain of Kaizer Chiefs for 11 years during the Golden Era of the club.   He was a legend with the club. He won 4 NPSL titles and a quadruple in 1981. Due to the Apartheid, he never played international football. He was from Soweto, South Africa.

CB: Lucas Radebe 
Lucas Radebe began playing in South Africa with Kaizer Chiefs in 1989, before transferring to Leeds United in 1994, where he played 200 matches for the Yorkshire side. During his spells at these clubs, he picked up the nicknames "Rhoo" and "The Chief". He became captain of Leeds United and also of the South African national team, most notably at World Cup 2002.  Fromm 1993 to 2003, he played over 70 times for South Africa.  In 2000, he was awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award.
Lucas Radebe
CB: Simon Lehoko 
Nicknamed the "Bull",  Simon Lehoko was considered one of the greatest defenders in Kaizer Chiefs' history.  He played between 1978 and 1985. He won a quadruple in 1981with them.  Due to Apartheid, he was only capped twice.  He played in the famous multi-racial South Africa national team that beat Rhodesia in 1977.
CB: Neil Tovey
Neil Tovey was the captain of South Africa as it won the African Cup of Nations in 1996.  He won 52 caps between 1992 and 1997.  He started his career with Durban City,  He later played for AmaZulu and then Kaizer Chief. He holds the record for most appearances in the National Soccer League. His brother Mark was also a well-known footballer, but never got his chance to play internationally.

CB: Mark Fish
Mark Fish helped South Africa to win the 1996 African Cup of Nations, which was considered to be a historical event at the newly founded republic.  He had 62 caps for Bafana Bafana between 1993 and 2004.  He also went to play in the 1998 World Cup Finals in France. He started his career with Orlando Pirates.  In 1996, he joined Lazio in Italy, but failed to settle down.  He later played for Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Ipswich Town and Jomo Cosmos.
Mark Fish
LB: Tsepo Masilela
Tsepo Masilela has played 51 times for Bafana Bafana, participating in the 2006 African Nations Cup, 2008 African Nations Cup, the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  For his club career, he is best remembered playing for Maccabi Haifa in Israel between 2007 and 2012. He also played briefly for Getafe in Spain. From 2012 onward, he played for Kaizer Chiefs back home. His father was also a soccer player.  He was voted 54th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004.
Tsepo Masilela
LB: Rodney Kitchin
Rodney Kitchin captained South Africa's first multiracial representative team that beat a visiting Argentinian side in 1976. He played for Durban United. His career was unknown outside of South Africa. Because of the Apartheid. Kitchin did not have much exposure outside of South Africa.

CB/DM:  Aaron Mokoena
Aaron Mokoena is the youngest ever player to have represented South Africa.  He was capped 109 times between 1999 and 2010.  He was the captain of the 2010 World Cup team playing at home. For his club career, he joined Ajax Amsterdam in 1999, but played mainly in Belgium.  In 2005, he joined Blackburn Rovers and stayed there until 2009.  He also played for Portsmouth, where he also served as their captain.

RW:  Berry Nieuwenhuys
Born in Boksburg, Transvaal Province,  Berry Nieuwenhuys was one of six South Africans playing for Liverpool during the 1930's.  He played over 200 games for Liverpool between 1933 and 1947.  He scored 79 goals.  He attained double figures in goals scored in six consecutive seasons in the 1930s. The Second World War disrupted his career, forcing him to become guest players with Arsenal and West Ham during the War while he served in the Royal Air Force.
Berry Nieuwenhuys
LW: Albert Johanneson
Albert Johanneson left South Africa to play for Leeds United in 1960.  He stayed there for 9 years under Don Revie.  He is the first high profile Black player to play in the English league. In 1965, he appeared in the FA Cup Final against Liverpool, becoming the first Black player to play in the Final. Between 1970 and 1972, he played for York City.

RW: Craig Johnston
Born in South Africa of Australian background, Johnston joined Middlesbrough FC from Australia.  He was better known for his career with Liverpool FC between 1981 and 1988. He was a key member of the 1986 "double" winning team.  He also won the European Cup in 1984.  He was eligible for Australia, Scotland and South Africa, but he never had a senior international career. He had described playing football for Australia as "like surfing for England."

LM/LW: Nelson "Teenage" Dladla
Nelson "Teenage" Dladla played his entire career with Kaizer Chiefs between 1976 and 1988, where he was a legend.   He played more than 400 matches for them. During his spell at Kaizer Chiefs he wore the legendary number 11. Ewert Nene was killed by a mob while trying to sign Dladka in 1976. Due to Apartheid, he never played international football. 

AM: Doctor Khumalo 
Doctor Khumalo earned 50 caps between 1992 and 2001.  He scored South Africa's first ever goal after it readmitted to international football in 1992.  He was a key player for South Africa as it won the 1996 African Cup of Nations and qualified for the 1998 World Cup Finals in France.  At the club level, he played for Kaizer Chiefs before going to play for Colombus Crew in the MLS. He was also voted South African Footballer of the Year in 1992. 
Doctor Khumelo
AM/FW: Jomo Sono
Jomo Sono was considered to be one of South African players.  He started his career with Orlando Pirates.  He was remembered for playing for NY Cosmos with Pele.  He spent most of his professional career playing in NASL.  While playing with Atlanta Chiefs, Sono played with another South African soccer star of the time, Patrick "Ace" Ntsoelengoe. He found Jomo Cosmos in 1983 naming the club after himself and NY Cosmos.

AM/ST: Patrick Ntsoelengoe
Patrick Ntsoelengoe is considered to be South African greatest players.  Due to sanction against South Africa, he only earned two caps.  He spent most of his career playing in South Africa and North America. He started his career with Kazier Chiefs.  His best stint in the US was with Minnesota Kicks. He is also a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame(USA) for his 11 seasons in the NASL. 
FW: Kaizer Motaung
Kaizer Motaung played for Orlando Pirates before moving to play for Atlanta Chiefs in the NASL.  In his first season in the USA, he finished as the top scorer and won the Rookie of the Year award.  He also played Denver Dynamos.   After he returned from the USA in 1970, he found Kaizer Chiefs naming the club after himself and Atlanta Chiefs.

ST: Benni McCarthy
Benni McCarthy is probably the most famous South African player after the end of Apartheid.  He is Bafana Bafana's all-time top-scorer with 32 goals.  He played in the World Cup Finals of 1998 and 2002, but missed out on the 2010 World Cup Finals playing at home. His best part of his club career was spent in Porto where he won the Champions' League in 2004. He was the league's top scorer in 2006. He also played for Seven Stars, Celta Vigo, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham and Orlando Pirates. 
Benni McCarthy
ST: Steve Mokone
Steve Mokone was the first black South African player to play in a professional European league when he joined Coventry in 1955.  He was nicknamed The Black Meteor and Kalamazoo.  His best stint was with Heracles Almelo in the Netherlands.  He played a few games for Cardiff City in Wales.  He also signed with FC Barcelona, Torino and Valencia, but made zero appearance.  

ST: Gordon Hodgson
He was capped twice for South Africa before he left for England in 1925.  He played for Liverpool between 1925 and 1936.  He scored 233 goals in the top-flight from 358 appearances.  He is the 4th all-time leading top flight scorer in the English football.  He also played for Aston Villa and Leeds United.  He played twice for South Africa, but was also capped three times for England.  He also played cricket.

ST: Phil Masinga 
Phil Masinga was capped 58 times.  He was a member of the team that won the 1996 African Cup of Nations and qualified for the 1998 World Cup Finals in France.  For his club career, he was successful with Jomo Cosmos and Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa.  He played in the English Premier League for Leeds United, and Italian Serie A for Salernitana and Bari. He also played for St. Gallen and Al-Wahda.

Aaron Mokoena
Abednigo Ngcobo started played amateur soccer at a young age for African Bush Rangers, Rand Koreans, Union Jacks. He later joined Zulu Royals and African Wanderers in the new NPSL for blacks in 1971.  He was a star with Kaizer Chiefs between 1972 and 1985. He played in the USA for Denver Dynamos and Minnesota Kicks, and Penarol in Uruguay, but never found the same successes. Due to the Apartheid in South Africa, he never got his chance to play international football.  He only played for South Africa Black XI.

Abednigo Ngcobo
Aaron MokoenST: Gordon Hodgson

Honorable Mention
Shaun Bartlett, Sizwe Motaung, John Moshoeu, Sibusiso Zuma and Quinton Fortune, Steven Pienaar, Geoff Wegerle, Steve Wegerle, Noel Cousins, Mark Tovey, Bradley Carnell, Andries Maseko.

Squad Explanation
-- I tried my best to include players from the Apartheid's era, where South Africa was isolated internationally and the players were unknown outside of South Africa. 
-- In general, associated football  or soccer is more popular among the Backs, and the White South Africans preferred rugby football. In South Africa, the sport is called "soccer" due to the popularity of rugby football.
-- Due to the sporting ban on South African national team, many South African players never played for South Africa. I do not know if they would ever choose to play for South Africa. 
--  Jomo Sono, Geoff and Steve Wegerle, etc got to play overseas and become well-known outside South Africa, but many of the players from that era were unknown outside of the country. 
-- Why Craig Johnston? South African-born Craig Johnston left South Africa at an early age.  He had rejected callups from Scotland and Australia, a place where he grew up, but we do not know if he would play for South Africa. I think very unlikely, but nobody but Johnston himself would know that. And most all-time lists do not include him.  However, Jomo Sono, Berry Nieuwenhuys and Albert Johanneson also did not play for South Africa.  Their situation is similar with Craig Johnston. I selected them based upon eligibility. I cannot exclude him while taking others uncapped South African-born players. So I am including Johnston on this updated version. Craig Johnston is not on my all-time Australia team because he actually turned down the chance to play for them., but I do not know his position on South Africa.
-- Lucas Radebe is probably the greatest South African player after the end of apartheid. He is one of the greatest ever players from Leeds United.  Mark Fish was also a popular player during his time.  His transfer to Lazio gained a lot of media coverage, but he never settled down.
-- Many South African players have played for Liverpool.  Berry Nieuwenhuys captained Liverpool.  He played with Lance Carr and Dirk Kemp in the 1930's.  Later, Arthur Riley joined the club.
-- Geoff and Steve Wegerle never played for any national team while their younger brother Roy Wegerle played for the US.  Roy is ineligible and is not included in the squad. 
-- Jomo Sono is the most well-known soccer player because of his association with Pele and NY Cosmos. Kaizer Motaung was well-know because of his days with NASL.
-- Mark Tovey never got to play international football unlike his brother Neil.  According to some source, he was better than Neil.
-- Shaun Bartlett should be on the team, but I went for the old-timers.  Quinton Fortune is also well-known because of his career with Manchester United.  He only earned an honourable mention.
-- Gary Bailey was born in Ipswich, but grew up in South Africa.  He was ineligible for this team because he was capped by England at the senior level.  

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-2-1-3

Shaun BartlettSibusiso ZumaJohn "Shoes" MoshoeuSizwe MotaungQuinton Fortune

Aaron Mokoena

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