Ace Football lists and profiles the five greatest South African goalkeepers throughout football history.
Goalkeepers are the last line of defense. This position is often overlooked, but it is still imperative. Those occupying the role have greater agility and concentration than anyone else in the team. Their task is simple, keep the ball out of the net at all costs.
Several goalies from South Africa have excelled in the past, but who would you rate as the best? Ace Football lists and profiles the five greatest South African goalkeepers here.
5. Moeneeb Josephs
Moeneeb Josephs was renowned for his sweeping and ball distribution abilities. He had a club career that lasted over two decades, playing for six teams. These included Orlando Pirates, Ajax Cape Town, and Bidvest Wits.
The 41-year-old’s most successful moment was at Orlando Pirates. The star helped the Pirates win five major trophies, including back-to-back Premier Soccer League titles in 2011 and 2012.
Josephs also had the privilege of representing the South African national team until 2012. The Cape Town native won 22 caps. While he spent most of his international career as a backup for Itumeleng Khune, he played in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2010 World Cup finals.
4. Andre Arendse
Andre Arendse is the oldest PSL player of all time. The veteran came out of retirement to surpass Zimbabwean Bruce Grobbelaar for the record aged 45 in May 2013 for Bidvest Wits.
Unlike many South African goalkeepers, Arendse ventured out to Europe in his career. The Cape Town native played in England briefly for Fulham and Oxford United from 1998 until 2000. He then spent the rest of his playing days in his homeland, cultivating in back-to-back PSL titles with SuperSport United.
Without a doubt, though, Arendse’s finest moment was on the international stage. The 67-capped shot-stopper starred in goal as South Africa won AFCON in 1996. It was the Bafana Bafana’s first and only title in the competition to date.
3. Brian Baloyi
Nicknamed ‘Spiderman’ back in the day, Brian Baloyi spent his entire career in his homeland. The star played for Kaizer Chiefs for over a decade, winning the African Cup Winners’ Cup and PSL title. He also had a spell at Mamelodi Sundowns and won 24 international caps.
Baloyi was the man in goal during South Africa’s run to the AFCON final in 1998. He did brilliantly throughout the tournament to help the Bafana Bafana make its second final appearance, but couldn’t keep Egypt at bay in a 2-0 loss during the final itself.
Baloyi later made the 1998 World Cup, 2002 AFCON, and 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup squads.
2. Johannes Adrianus ‘Hans’ Vonk
Out of all the South African goalkeepers on this list, Hans Vonk is the most unique of them all. The keeper mostly played in the Netherlands, suiting up for giants such as Heerenveen and Ajax. He won two Eredivisie titles and the Dutch Super Cup before spending his final two seasons at Ajax Cape Town.
Despite being of Dutch parentage, the Alberton-born star represented South Africa until 2005. He won 43 caps on the international scene. His performances won him a starring role in the national team’s 1998 World Cup and 2002 AFCON campaigns.
1. Itumeleng Khune
Topping our list of the greatest South African goalkeepers is Itumeleng Khune.
Famed for his reflexes and ball distribution, Khune has earned a lot of praise over the years. Ex-Liverpool keeper Sander Westerveld once hailed him as ‘the best you will see anywhere’.
The 2012/13 PSL Footballer of the Year has played exclusively for Kaizer Chiefs. He has made over 300 appearances for the club, winning seven trophies – including three PSL titles.
The Kaizer Chiefs captain is also the South African national team’s second-highest capped player in history on 91 caps and has enjoyed many memorable moments, such as saving a David Villa penalty in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and continuously denying Neymar in the 2016 Olympics.