South Africa is home to some of the most talented sportsmen, and Bafana Bafana, the country's football team, has moulded some of the most successful footballers. The best part about it is the opportunities that some of the footballers have secured abroad. The details of South African players abroad that make us proud will enlighten you on how lucrative the sport is.
The burgeoning crop of talent in the country has brought about a new era in football. The most exciting part about it is that the sportsmen are in their prime years; hence, their impact is significant. The likes of Khanya Leshabela are the stars that the country takes pride in. How about reading on for more details about the other South African players abroad that make us proud?
South African players abroad list
Who is the best South African player? What do you think it takes for one to earn a chance in a team in a foreign country? This list unveils what it took for some of these stars to land the coveted opportunities.
1. Khanya Leshabela
Khanya Leshaba is a dynamic and tactical midfielder who boasts of a nice touch of the ball. He is currently affiliated with Leicester City. He signed a three-year contract in 2019, and his outstanding performance has caught the eye of Claude Puel, the previous coach. Hence, he recently landed a chance on the bench for the Europa League.
Khanya Leshabela is one of the most talented footballers whose star seems to be shinning too bright for his age.
2. Thabo Cele
Thabo Cele is another one of the South African players abroad 2020. The twenty-three-year-old started his football career in 2016 when he joined Real SC after leaving the KwaZulu Natal Academy. In 2017, Cele joined Benfica B, and one year later, he joined Real SC. In June 2018, he accepted an offer from Benfica B, and later in 2018, Thabo transferred to Cova Piedade. He plays in the centre-midfield position.
3. Keanin Ayer
Keanin Ayer Boya is another one of the youngest but the most talented South African footballers who seem to have a promising future awaiting them. The twenty-year-old star in the making turned his turbulent alcohol and drug-ridden upbringing by seeking solace in football.
Turning football into a sanctuary changed his life, and it took him from Eldorado Park to an academy in Ghana at the tender age of twelve. At the age of 18, after graduating from the academy, Ayer went to join his teammates at FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark. Later in 2018, he was farmed out to Varberg. In 2019, he represented Verbarg in the Superettan to win promotion, and Varberg secured the second position. In mid-2019, Keanin was part of South Africa’s Under-20 squad that represented the country in the World Youth Championship in Poland.
4. Liam Jordan
Liam Jonathan Jordan's transcendence in football is proof that the apple does not fall far from the tree. He is the son of Keryn Jordan, a former South African footballer. Liam's professional debut in football was in 2015 during the 2015–16 Nedbank Cup.
He made his debut in his senior international career in 2017 when he represented the country in the 2017 COSAFA Cup during a match against Tanzania. In January 2018, he transferred from Sporting B to HB Køge on loan.
5. Tashreeq Matthews
Tashreeq Matthews is a twenty-year-old footballer who traces his roots in Cape Town, South Africa. Matthews has been part of the South Africa U20 team. In November 2018, Borussia Dortmund signed him. In 2019, he transferred to Utrecht on loan, and in 2020, he joined Varbergs BoIS and has so far made more than ten match appearances.
6. Sphephelo Sithole
Sphephelo Sithole is a twenty-one-year-old South African midfielder who is currently affiliated with Belenenses SAD U23. He made a debut in his career in August 2017 when he joined the Sporting U19 squad. One year later, he joined the Vitória FC U23 squad. In January 2019, he joined the Belenenses U23 team.
7. Gift Links
Gift Links is a twenty-two-year-old South African footballer who is currently affiliated with AGF, a club in the Danish Superliga. Before he joined the club, he was part of the Cape Town City squad between 2018 and 2019. For the time that he has been in AGF, he has made more than ten appearances and scored one goal.
8. Lyle Foster
Lyle Brent Foster is a twenty-year-old professional footballer who is currently associated with Vitória Guimarães, a Portuguese team. He also plays in the forward position in the South Africa National Team. He made a debut in his career in 2016 when he joined the South Africa U17 team, and between 2017 and 2019, he was associated with Orlando Pirates. Later in 2019, he received an offer from Monaco B before another opportunity to join Cercle Brugge and later Vitória Guimarães in 2020.
9. Luke Le Roux
Luke Le Roux is a twenty-year-old professional footballer who is currently associated with Varbergs BoIS as a midfielder. He began his professional career in 2016 and was part of the SuperSport United squad up until 2020. Between 2016 and 2018, he was part of the Stellenbosch FC team on loan. In 2020, he joined Varbergs BoIS and has so far made five appearances.
10. Kobamelo Kodisang
Kobamelo Kodisang is a twenty-one-year-old footballer who is currently affiliated with S.C. Braga B, a Portuguese football club. He made his debut in August 2015 and became one of the youngest footballers in the Premier Soccer League. Since 2019, he has made twelve match appearances for S.C Braga B and scored four goals.
11. Lebogang Phiri
Lebogang Phiri is a twenty-six-year-old professional footballer who is associated with the French Ligue 1 club EA Guingamp. He is also part of the South Africa national team. Phiri started his career in 2012 when he joined Brøndby IF. In 2017, he joined Guingamp, a French football club, and up until the 2018/2019 season, he participated in Ligue 1. In 2019, he landed an opportunity in Ligue 2 and has so far made twenty-five appearances and scored one goal.
Phiri is a midfield footballer.
12. Kurt Abrahams
Kurt Abrahams is a twenty-three-year-old South African professional footballer who is affiliated with Westerlo in the Belgian First Division B. Kurt Abrahams hails from Cape Town and made his debut in football in 2017 when he joined Sint-Truiden. In 2018, he joined Westerlo and has so far made sixty match appearances and scored seventeen goals.
13. Karol Lebogang
Karol is the son of Lebo Morula, a former Bafana Bafana midfielder, and is currently affiliated with Juan Aurich, a Peruvian club, in the 2020/2021 season. The twenty-three-year-old star has received acclamation for his performance in the second season with Los Caimanes. In the season, he set a record of making thirty-four match appearances, scoring one goal and securing four assists.
14. Sibusiso Magwaza
Sibusiso Magwaza is a twenty-six-year-old attacking midfielder who is currently associated with FK Minija Kretinga, a football club in Lithuania. He began his career in 2014 when he joined Bidvest Wits FC Reserves. In August 2018, he joined FK Utenis, and in May 2020, he joined FK Minija Kretinga.
15. Mhleli Mabuza
Mhleli Mabuza is a twenty-year-old footballer and defender in the right-back position. He is currently associated with Lusitano Ginásio Clube SAD, a Portuguese team. He began his career in 2018 when he joined Galitos FC U19, and in January 2019, he joined CD Pinhalnovense U19. In July 2019, he gained a transfer deal to Lusitano SAD.
16. Kamohelo Mokotjo
Kamohelo Mokotjo is a professional South African footballer who is currently affiliated with Cincinnati FC. The defensive midfielder started his native career in South Africa before rising to prominence after joining FC Twente in the Netherlands. Later, he relocated to England after landing a deal with Brentford. He joined FC Cincinnati in 2020 and has so far made nine appearances.
17. Anele Ngcongca
Calvin Anele Ngcongca is a thirty-three-year-old footballer who is currently associated with Roeselare. Ngcongca has been playing the sport for more than a decade now, and between 2009 and 2016, he was part of the South African national team, where he made fifty-three match appearances. He joined Roeselare in 2020 and has not played in any match so far.
18. Simo Mbhele
Simo Bright Mbhele is a twenty-one-year-old attacking midfield footballer who is currently associated with SU 1º Dezembro, a Portuguese football club. He joined the team in 2018 and has risen to become one of the notable South African players abroad.
19. András Németh
András Németh is one of the youngest South African players abroad. The eighteen-year-old star plays in the centre-forward position. He began his career in 2016 and has risen over the years to play in the following clubs, KRC Genk Youth, KRC Genk U18 and KRC Genk II. He is currently associated with KRC Genk II.
20. May Mahlangu
May Mahlangu is a thirty-one-year-old central midfield footballer who is associated with FC Ordabasy. Mahlangu started his career at the age of fifteen when he joined Alexandra United. In 2008, he joined Helsingborgs IF, a Swedish football club. In March 2014, he signed a one-year contract with IFK Göteborg. In 2015, he transferred to Konyaspor, and in 2018, he joined Ludogorets Razgrad. In 2019, he joined Ordabasy and has so far made forty-five match appearances and scored three goals.
If you were keen enough, you must have noticed that most of the South African players abroad doing us proud are relatively young. This is proof of how lucrative the career is.
Briefly.co.za recently published in-depth details about PSL players who went broke. You will be saddened by how most of the promising footballers retire with nothing to show from the lucrative careers due to poor financial management.