The Top 5 Best South African Footballers of All Time [ Benni McCarthy is #3]

4. Lucas Radebe

When Nelson Mandela names you as his “hero”, you know you’re doing something right.

This was the honour bestowed on Lucas Radebe by the Rainbow Nation’s founding father during his time at Leeds United.

Radebe was one of the Nation Builders who claimed the African crown in 1996, and he also represented Bafana Bafana at the 1998 and 2002 World Cup.

After leaving Kaizer Chiefs in 1994, he became a legend in Yorkshire and one of the Premier League’s most established defenders.

His reputation has endured as a loyal servant and as a consistent, elegant defender and captain. Admittedly, he could have achieved greater acclaim had the Whites not turned down Manchester United’s bid for the player.

He may never have won a major league, but Radebe was named as Leeds’s Player of the Year in 1998 and remains, to this day, a Leeds great.


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