List of South African soccer players playing overseas

Providing news and regular updates on South African soccer players playing soccer abroad.

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south african national team

Soccer in South Africa is going through reformation at the moment and it is not at a high level like it was in the late 90s and early 2000s. After reaching the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and 2002, South Africa organized the tournament in 2010, but after that, they struggled to leave a deeper mark in the world of soccer. The biggest star of those four is certainly Percy Tau, the 28-year-old striker who is currently playing at Al Ahly in Egypt.

The situation has been somewhat better in the last few years; since 2017. South Africa managed to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, finishing the qualifying stage without a defeat. Despite recording only one win (1-0 over Namibia), South Africa made it to the knockout stage and then made a massive upset by beating the hosts and seven-time AFCON winners Egypt in Cairo. Bafana couldn’t make another shock as Nigeria stopped them in the quarter-finals, but this turned out to be South Africa’s best display in the 2010s.

Following an unsuccessful qualifying campaign for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the South African Football Association decided to sack Molefi Ntseki and hire the Belgian Hugo Broos as a new head coach in May 2021. Broos, who spent his entire playing career in two Belgian giants Anderlecht and Club Brugge, coached numerous teams in his country and abroad, including Club Brugge, Anderlecht, and Genk, and won multiple domestic titles and a cup.

He spent six years as a head coach of Cameroon and led the Indomitable Lions to the Africa Cup of Nations title in 2017. Broos is the second foreigner to coach South Africa in the last 12 years after the Scotsman Stuart Baxter (2017-19), and he immediately made some waves in the national squad. Broos rejuvenated the team and said farewell to veteran players such as captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, appointing goalkeeper Ronwen Williams as a new skipper with striker Percy Tau as his deputy. South Africa didn’t have the luck to reach the playoffs for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as they finished second in the qualification group behind Ghana in goals scored.

Top South African stars playing abroad

During the 90s and in the past two decades, South Africa had a lot of stars who played abroad, mostly in Europe, in the English Premier League, to be precise. We all remember Lucas Radebe, Mark Fish, Quinton Fortune, Shaun Bartlett, Delron Buckley, Benni McCarthy, Pierre Issa, Aaron Mokoena, Siyabonga Nomvethe, Sibusiso Zuma, Steven Pienaar, Lance Davids, and Bernard Parker, among others.

Right now, South Africa doesn’t have such stars in the national squad and most of the team is made of players who are playing in the domestic championship. Given the latest squad that played a couple of friendly games against Guinea and France in late March 2022, South Africa utilized only four of 23 players who are not playing in the domestic championship.

The biggest star of those four is certainly Percy Tau, the 28-year-old striker who is currently playing at Al Ahly in Egypt. Tau spent four seasons in the English Premier League, representing Brighton & Hove Albion, but appeared in just three PL games and six in total during his four-year stay at the Amex. While in Brighton, Pau was loaned to Belgian clubs on three occasions, so he played for Union SG, Club Brugge, and Anderlecht.

Bongokuhle Hlongwane is playing in the MLS for Minnesota United, Lyle Foster is at Belgian Westerlo, while Fagrie Lakay represents the Egyptian side Pyramids. Interestingly, all four of these players are forwards. Alongside them, two more South African players are playing abroad and Hugo Broos will likely count on them due to their young age. Gift Links (23) is currently at AGF Aarhus, while Luther Singh (24) is playing at FC Copenhagen, also a Danish team.

Achievements in the clubs and in the national squad

Out of those six players who are playing abroad, vice-captain Percy Tau is the most successful one. Despite experiencing a bad time at Brighton, Tau won the Belgian Pro League with Club Brugge in the 2019-20 season and the CAF Super Cup with Al Ahly in 2021. Tau was the Belgian First Division B Player of the Season in 2018–19 and in the Belgian First Division B Team of the Season in 2018–19 thanks to his performances with Union SG.

Percy Tau

When it comes to the national team, Tau is the top scorer of all active players with 13 goals, ten more than the likes of Keagan Dolly, Teboho Mokoena, and Evidence Makgopa. Tau also has 34 caps for South Africa, the most of all 23 players who were invited for the aforementioned friendlies in March 2022. For those who like to bet on goalscorers, you can pick Percy Tau quite confidently when South Africa is playing.

Top goal scorers and most capped players

Talking in general, Aaron Mokoena is South Africa’s most-capped player in the history of this country with 107 caps. Mokoena, who played for Ajax, Genk, Blackburn Rovers, and Portsmouth, represented Bafana Bafana from 1999 to 2010. That record will probably stay intact for years to come, particularly after head coach Hugo Broos informed Itumeleng Khune that he doesn’t count on him anymore. Khune has 91 caps to his name, but he’s 35 and it’s unlikely he will wear a South African jersey in the future. Siphiwe Tshabalala (89), Siyabonga Nomvethe (82), and Benni McCarthy (81) are the players with 80+ caps for South Africa.

McCarthy is the nation’s top scorer with 31 goals, and this record is also going to be hard to break because Percy Tau is the only active player with more than ten goals for the country. Although still has a few years left in his feet, Tau, who scored 13, will find it difficult to take McCarthy from the first place. Aside from McCarthy, only three more players scored 20+ goals for South Africa: Shaun Bartlett (28), Katlego Mphela (23), and Bernard Parker (23).

Look ahead: Talented newcomers

Hugo Broos plans to use a contingent of young players in the next few years and he already included seven U23 players in the most recent squad. A couple of strikers Lyle Foster and Bongokuhle Hlongwane will lead South Africa’s offense for the next decade as both are 21-year-olds. Both are playing abroad, and Hlongwane already scored two goals for his national side. Foster, who is under contract with Vitória de Guimarães but spent the last season with Westerlo in Belgium, has a promising future ahead of him. Monaco first brought him to Europe as a 19-year-old old from Orlando Pirates.

South African soccer and betting industry

Betting and particularly online betting is a growing industry in Africa, and therefore, in South Africa as well. It took time to expand to all African countries due to various problems such as poor internet connection and lack of infrastructure, but now it develops step by step and more people passionate about sports are engaging! When it comes to South Africa, one of the most popular sportsbooks that originated in this country is Hollywoodbets, so if you are interested in various reviews from experts you should visit Takebet South Africa and pick one betting company that suits you the most.

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