Mamelodi Sundowns defender Anele Ngcongca has been named in Racing Genk’s Team of the Decade by Fluminese publication Voetbal Belgium.
Ngcongca’s inclusion sees him “line up” alongside star international players Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois, Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
“At right-back, we opt for the stability of Anele Ngcongca ahead of an equally talented Joakim Maehle (Danish footballer, who currently plays for Genk as right-back). The South African was a leader on the pitch,” the publication wrote.
A Genk volunteer, responsible for foreign players, Paul Vantuykom, said the Gugulethu-born star’s inclusion in the stellar line up of Genk stars from the past 10 years came as no surprise because of his “unparalleled dedication”.
“For me he was the most consistent player during the last 10 years. Players tend to be inconsistent but Anele played 95% of his games exceptionally. I was privileged to watch all the club’s games in his nine years at Genk, and the man was exceptional,” Vantuykom told FARPost.
In the history of the club, only one player enjoyed more minutes than the former Bafana Bafana international, who made 279 appearances in his nine-year stint at the Luminus Arena, from 2007-2016.
Vantuykom added that Ngcongca’s versatility made him “extremely important to the team”.
“He could easily switch to left back or defensive midfield and still give out his best to the team. The Genk fans loved him because he never shied away from responsibility each time we needed someone to step up. He sweated for the team,” said Vantuykom.
Ngcongca, who also had a stint with French side Troyes, knows that he is treasured at Genk. “I know those people love me; I felt it. I’m really honoured by the inclusion in the team of the decade. It shows that a boy from Gugulethu left a mark in Belgium,” he said.
For Ngcongca, the greatest honour was to captain the club. The right back signed for the Belgian club in 2007. He won the Belgian Pro League in 2011 and Belgian Cup twice.
By Mthokozisi Dube