SA stars fail to shine on big stage

2011-07-09 18:41

While many ­African soccer players are ­making strides in top international leagues, South Africans seem content to join ­unfashionable overseas clubs.

Some South African players return home with nothing to show for their stay abroad while others end up in the lower ­National First Division sides.

Steven Pienaar is currently this country’s brightest import in the English Premier League and has gone from strength to strength in the Tottenham ­Hotspur side, cementing his place in the starting line-up.

Former Leeds United and Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe set the precedent in ­Europe in the early 90s.

Radebe and Benedict ­McCarthy, who were good ambassadors, remain among the most successful exports to ­England.

McCarthy’s consistency with Portuguese team FC Porto in 2004 earned him the Golden Boot award (with 20 goals in 23 games) and he finished the second top scorer with Blackburn Rovers in the Premiership in 2006–07 with 18 league goals.

Former SuperSport United captain Bongani Khumalo’s much publicised overseas move has flopped after he spent most of the time on the bench.

He arrived in England in ­January but was unable to break into the Spurs first team.

He soon found himself shipped out to Preston on loan and made six appearances for North End ­before a fractured foot ended his season.

Recent reports from England are that Spurs are planning to send him out on loan again. He was also reported to be joining Glasgow Rangers on a season-long loan deal.

This week, England championship side Crystal Palace confirmed signing midfielder ­Kagisho Dikgacoi from Fulham, where he made no mark before being loaned to Palace.

Tsepo Masilela has failed to attract Premiership sides and is reportedly heading for lower ­division team Leicester City.

He was targeted by ­Birmingham City previously, but he is expected to join North End side soon.

The chances of national striker Bernard Parker returning to the Dutch Premiership team FC Twente this coming season look slim after he spent last season on loan to Greek side Panserraikos FC, where he scored once in 12 appearances.

He has been linked with ­Kaizer Chiefs to replace Knowledge Musona, while SuperSport ­United defender ­Morgan Gould is set for trials at Palace.

Former Bafana defender Mark Fish said the influx of foreign players in the SA league was not helping the game.

His ex-SA teammate John Moshoeu said South Africans should consider playing in Scandinavian countries for now.

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