- South African players have represented their country well in the English Premier League
- Although some left indelible footprints on the sands of time in the English top flight, a few others had a nightmare
- Quinton Fortune won the Premier League, FA Community Shield and Intercontinental Cup with Manchester United
A number of South African footballers have featured in the English Premier League where Africans have continued to do great.
The EPL remains the most-watched football league in South Africa and some players from the country also had a great adventure in the English topflight.
Following Percy Tau’s move to Brighton in 2018, a total of 14 players from the rainbow nation have represented the people of Mzansi in England.
Here we look at 14 South African players who have played in the EPL
1. Shaun Bartlett – Charlton Athletic (2000 – 2006)
The incredible striker featured in 105 Premier League matches for Charlton, scoring 17 goals in the English topflight.
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He formed a sensational partnership with Jonathan Johanssen. He remains a cult hero at the club.
2. Kagisho Dikgacoi - Fulham and Crystal Palace (2009 – 2011, 2013 – 2014)
Another hero of South African football, Dikgacoi has 7 Premier League goals to his name, featured for both Fulham and Crystal Palace in the English topflight.
3. Mark Fish – Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic (1997 – 1998, 2000 – 2005)
He was irresistible in England. He made over a century of appearances for both English clubs respectively.
4. Quinton Fortune - Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers (1999-2006 and 2006-2007)
He is the only Bafana Bafana player to ever feature for giants Manchester United and he played under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The midfielder won the Premier League, FA Community Shield and Intercontinental Cup with the Red Devils.
5. Mbulelo Mabizela – Tottenham Hotspur (2003 – 2005)
Mabizela had a poor spell with Spurs, featuring in just 7 games, scoring just one goal before he left for Norwegian side Valerenga.
6. Phil Masinga – Leeds United (1994 – 1996)
He is renowned with the moniker “the other South African who played for Leeds”. Masinga featured in 31 Premier League matches and scored 5 goals for the club.
7. Benni McCarthy – Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United (2006 – 2010, 2010 – 2011)
He started his stint on a sensational note with Blackburn Rovers as he notched in 24 goals in his first-ever season of English football.
McCarthy later moved to West Ham United managing to feature in just 11 league matches.
8. Aaron Mokoena – Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth (2005 – 2009, 2009 – 2010)
The former Bafana Bafana star featured in over 100 matches for Blackburn and then 77 for Portsmouth.
He was given the nickname ‘The Axe’, due to his ability to chop down an attacker.
9. Matthew Pattison – Newcastle United (2005 – 2007)
His professional career was plagued by injuries as he managed just 10 Premier League matches for the Magpies.
10. Steven Pienaar – Everton, Tottenham Hotsput and Sudnerland
He remains the only South African player to feature for three different English Premier League clubs.
What a remarkable career he had in the English topflight, making over 100 appearances.
11. Lucas Radebe – Leeds United (1994 – 2005)
Racking up over 200 appearances for Leeds is exactly why Radebe remains one of the best-ever South African players.
Fans of the club adore him for his brutal, uncompromising style of defending.
12. Tokelo Rantie – Bournemouth (2015 – 2016)
In 2013, Malmo FF sold Rantie to English club Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee.
The striker managed a total of 44 appearances for the English club, scoring just 5 goals.
13. Erik Tinkler – Barnsley FC (1997 – 1998)
Underdogs Barnsley found their way to the English Premier League during the 1997-1998 season. Erik Tinkler was the heart of the Tykes and he eventually left Barnsley following nine goals in 99 appearances.
14. Percy Tau - Brighton & Hove Albion (2018 - 2021)
The pacy winger moved to Brighton in 2018, and in three seasons, he managed just 3 appearances in the Premier League.
McCarthy among African legends who became coaches
Sports Brief earlier reported that after a glittering footballing career, a number of African football legends became managers, imparting their knowledge to young players.
Benni McCarthy was appointed assistant coach at Sint-Truiden and he went on to manage South African clubs Cape Town City and AmaZulu. Currently, he is a first-team coach at Manchester United.
Stephen Keshi, who captained Nigeria to glory at the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, was in charge when the Super Eagles conquered the continent in 2013 in South Africa.