In 2010, the global spotlight fell on South Africa as the country hosted the biggest sporting showpiece on earth.
From the president to the lowest ranking person in the country, all were under pressure to ensure South Africa gives a good account of herself to deliver a successful Fifa World Cup.
However no one carried more pressure that the 23 men chosen to do duty for the country. A lot was expected from Carlos Alberto Parreira’s squad but they just couldn’t make it out of the group stages.
Fast forward to 10 years later. Of the players that represented the nation, over 50% have since retired. Some have gone into coaching and football administration. Others have gone into business. However, 43% of the squad are still active in football. The most memorable name from the Bafana team, Siphiwe Tshabalala, who scored that thunderbolt in the opening match against Mexico at Soccer City, is a free agent looking for a club. Here’s what the rest are doing:
1. Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)
None of the players from the 2010 squad are still involved with Bafana except for Khune. The Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper is currently the most capped player in the squad, with 91 caps.
2. Moneeb Josephs (AmaZulu)
The longest-serving player in the PSL, Josephs still mans the posts for AmaZulu. He has been in the PSL since the 1997/98 season. He is still going strong at 39, turning 40 next month.
3. Anele Ngcongca (Mamelodi Sundowns)
The right-back is a regular at Mamelodi Sundowns. He is one of the most consistent players in the PSL. It’s like there’s no stopping him.
4. Tsepo Masilela (AmaZulu)
Since leaving Kaizer Chiefs in 2018, Masilela had spent some time in football wilderness but made a return at AmaZulu this season.
5. Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United)
The defender does feature for SuperSport United occasionally. Most of the times, his experience is called upon whenever Matsatsantsa a Pitori want to manage a match.
6. Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Highlands Park)
‘Yeye’ has proved he is made of stern stuff. In a Highlands Park team that never stops running, the central midfielder, who’s now 37, has managed to hold his own. He may have lost a yard of pace but his quality on the ball remains.
7. Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs)
Discipline and hard work have seen Parker remain a mainstay at Chiefs under different coaches. He still a key member of the squad.
8. Siphiwe Tshabalala (Unattached)
Shabba recently returned from Turkey. He is yet to find a club. He is training on his own. He hasn’t given up on the dream to play again after a lay off.
9. Thanduyise Khuboni (Uthongathi FC)
The left-footed central midfielder is one of the two players that have dropped to one division lower. He is currently on the books of GladAfrica Championship side, Uthongathi FC.
10. Siyabonga Nomvethe (Uthongathi FC)
Blessed with good genes, the speedy attacker has managed to enjoy a long career in football. At the age of 42, he is still going strong. He is now in the GladAfrica Championship, where he turns out for Uthongathi FC.
Bafana’s 2010 World Cup squad:
(Name of player and their club during the 2010 World Cup)
Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates)
Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Tshepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel)
Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth, England)
Anele Ngcongca (Genk, Belgium)
Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia)
Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town)
Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs)
Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Steven Pienaar (Everton, England)
Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates)
Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs)
Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham, England)
Matthew Booth (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates)
Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)
Bernard Parker (FC Twente, Netherlands)
Siyabonga Nomvete (Moroka Swallows)
Surprise Moriri (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United)
Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows)
Shu-Aib Walters (Maritzburg United)
Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows)
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By Hosea Ramphekwa