TOP 5: Ranking Downs’ South American imports


In the PSL era, Mamelodi Sundowns have roped in as many as 13 South Americans to their ranks over the years.

From the likes of Jose Torrealba to Gaston Sirino, there have been some hits and misses.

FARPost Editor Tiyani wa ka Mabasa ranks the South Americans who have starred for the ‘Brazilians’.

  1. Jorge Acuna (Chile)

The midfielder was strong on the ball and the fans appeared to like him, earning himself the nickname ‘Acuna Mthata’, which was meant to translate to “there are no problems” when he’s on the pitch. The Chilean was at Sundowns from 2007 – 2009 and certainly played his part in the centre of the park.

  1. Leonardo Castro (Colombia)

The centre forward scored 16 goals and provided 8 assists in 62 appearances for the Brazilians and that may not seem to be good numbers for a striker, but it was his combination with Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly – dubbed the ‘CBD’ – that was so exciting to watch. The downside was the fact that he scored just 1 goal in the 2016/17 campaign, but his season was largely disrupted by an ankle injury. He’s now with Kaizer Chiefs, for whom he’s done well this season with 8 goals in 19 appearances.

  1. Jose Torrealba (Bolivia)

The nippy Venezuelan arrived in 2005 and quickly settled in with 11 goals in his first season, before netting 16 the following campaign (2006/07). Torrealba left under a cloud after claiming that Sundowns had forged his contract and briefly played in his home country, before signing with Kaizer Chiefs, where he only scored 7 goals.

  1. Ricardo Nascimento (Brazil)

The centre-back has played 101 matches for Sundowns and this could have been more had it not been for injuries along the way, since joining the club in 2016. Nascimento also boasts 13 goals, mostly from penalties.

  1. Gaston Sirino (Uruguay)

He’s an obvious pick for the number one spot. The Uruguayan is arguably the best of the lot and he’s got some impressive numbers to show for the two years he’s been at Chloorkop. Since arriving in 2018, Sirino has managed 22 goals and 26 assists in 90 appearances for the Tshwane club.


Vincente Principiano (Argentina), Bryan Aldave (Uruguay), Rafael Dudamel (Venezuela), Fabio da Costa (Brazil), Jorge Acuna (Chile), Eduardo Ferreira (Brazil), Jose Torrealba (Venezuela), Leonardo Castro (Colombia), Ricardo Nascimento (Brazil), Gaston Sirino (Uruguay), Jose Ali Meza (Venezuela), Mauricio Afonso (Uruguay) and Emiliano Tade (Argentina).

By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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