Bafana's class of 1996: Where are they now?
In 1996, post-apartheid South Africa appeared at their first-ever CAF Africa Cup of Nations. Buoyed by an enthusiastic home crowd, the team made history by beating Tunisia 2-0 in the final. FIFA.com looks at that celebrated Bafana Bafana team and what they are doing now.
The coach: Clive Barker
Turned to coaching after a serious knee injury cut short his playing career. He coached a number of clubs successfully, then took over the national team in 1994 and two years later guided them to their greatest-ever success. Barker also took the side to the finals of the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ but was sacked before the tournament began. He was appointed coach of South African Premier Soccer League side Wits University earlier this year.
The captain: Neil Tovey
Received the trophy from South African president Nelson Mandela, who was wearing a replica of Tovey's jersey. After retiring from football, the former Bafana Bafana skipper moved into coaching and won the PSL championship with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2006. He currently works as a TV pundit in South Africa. Tovey says the realisation of what the side achieved in 1996 is only now becoming apparent . "The significance of that victory can be seen now after so many years of not winning anything. I think it set all the players up for life." The defender, who received the trophy while wearing a Tunisia jersey, says that the side was so strong because they had character and belief in their own strength. "We obviously also had talent, but we were one unit, and we had fun. We were all in it together."
Has just been appointed assistant coach at PSL club Wits University, where he will serve under Barker. Two years after winning the Cup of Nations, the goalkeeper joined Fulham, but never really managed to break through into English football. He returned to South Africa and won several league championships. He also heads a soccer development company Safe Hands Soccer.
Is arguably South Africa's biggest international star, having joined Leeds United in 1994. The centre-half, who later captained the national team, became an icon in over 200 games for Leeds and captained the side to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. He won the FIFA Fair Play award in 2000 for his work as a SOS Children's Village Ambassador and also helped the Local Organising Committee for Africa’s first FIFA World Cup in 2010. Currently, Radebe can be seen as a pundit on TV and is involved in several business ventures.
Joined Serie A club Lazio after the Cup of Nations and went on to play in England for Bolton Wanderers and Charlton. A cruciate ligament injury led to his retirement in 2005. Today he is involved in business and promotional work with national team sponsors.
Signed for Swiss club St Gallen after the 1996 finals and also played for Tenerife, with whom he made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. He returned to South Africa and played for Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates before dying tragically at the age of 31 from an AIDS-related illness in his hometown of Newcastle in 2001.
Spent several seasons playing in Portugal, England and Italy. The midfielder returned to his first club Wits University at the end of his career and then joined the coaching staff at the club. He has since moved with former Wits coach Roger De Sa to Orlando Pirates, where he is assistant to the former Bafana goalkeeper.
Linda Innocent Buthelezi
Was a tough midfielder who played for a number of top South African clubs, including Chiefs, Pirates and Sundowns. Known as 'Mercedes Benz', Buthelezi made unwanted international headlines in 1997 when his tackle on Paul Gascoigne saw the English midfielder stretchered off. He is involved in several football development initiatives and also runs an educational and sports management company.
Came on for Buthelezi as a second-half substitute. One of several players who plied their trade in Turkey after the finals. After retiring from football in 2008, the midfielder moved into coaching, as well as business. The 'Midnight Express', as he was known, is also involved in promotional work.
Was already playing in Turkey in 1996 and later went on to captain giants Fenerbahce after joining them from Kocaelispor. Generally called 'Shoes', the midfielder finished his career with AmaZulu in 2008 but has since returned to playing for lower division club Alexandra United. He also coaches the side and is involved in the club with former Bafana goalkeeper Brian Baloyi.
Donald 'Ace' Khuse
Played for Genclerbirligi and Antalyaspor, again in Turkey. After returning to South Africa in 1997, he went back to former club Kaizer Chiefs, where he joined the coaching staff. Having spent some time as assistant, he took over - with Doctor Khumalo - in 2002 and won the league championship a year later. Khuse is presently back as assistant under former Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter.
Was arguably South Africa's biggest name at the time. Nicknamed '16 valve', Khumalo scored South Africa's first goal after being readmitted to the international fold in a 1-0 victory against Cameroon in 1992. Surprisingly, the skilful midfielder's international club career was restricted to Ferro Carril Oeste and Columbus Crew in MLS. After ending his playing career, he joined the coaching staff of his former club Kaizer Chiefs, where he remains an assistant.
Philemon 'Chippa' Masinga
A lanky striker who played in several countries, including England (Leeds United), Switzerland (St Gallen) and Italy (Salernitana and Bari). After finishing his career at Al-Wahda in the United Arab Emirates, Masinga returned to South Africa. He is involved in promotional work and has also worked with a football academy and done some coaching.
Came on for Masinga with 25 minutes to go and scored twice within the space of nine minutes after coming on. The striker is another well-travelled player, having spent time in Belgium (RWD Molenbeek), England (Wolverhampton Wanderers), with four clubs in China, and in Brunei with Brunei DPMM FC. He came out of retirement to play for the South African national beach soccer team, which he also coached. He has been a participant on the South African version of 'Strictly Come Dancing', saying at the time that it was no great change from football. "As a player, I have used my feet all my life to make a living."
Joined Colorado Rapids for the inaugural season of Major League Soccer. Moved from there to FC Zurich, before joining Charlton Athletic. He ended his career with Bloemfontein Celtic in 2008 and has since moved into coaching. Currently the assistant coach at Golden Arrows, Bartlett remains second top scorer for the national side with 29 goals.