Selecting a combined Chiefs and Sundowns greatest XI
Choosing a combined team of the greatest Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns players is no easy task. Some absolute greats pick themselves, but even legends like Doctor Khumalo and Ernest Mtawali have excellent rivals for their places.
If one were to pick an all-time XI, Sundowns would be discriminated against based on their shorter top-flight history. An all-time XI would bring Chiefs legends like Ace Ntsoelengoe, Teenage Dladla, Jan Lechaba and others into the mix.
So, to keep it fair, I’ve based my selection on players who represented the clubs from 1990 onwards.
Goalkeeper: Brian Baloyi
Baloyi was Kaizer Chiefs’ number one for a decade, playing almost 350 matches for the Glamour Boys before joining Sundowns in 2004. A title-winning, cup-lifting captain at Chiefs, he was made captain of Sundowns in 2004/05. Baloyi was a good shot-stopper with a commanding presence who played 24 times for Bafana Bafana and was the country’s first choice during the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations, when they finished second.
Right-back: Sizwe Motaung
The sight of Motaung marauding down the right flank in the colours Sundowns was an exciting sight. In his first season with the Brazilians he was irresistible as they won the 1993 league title, and he had featured in 114 matches all told - scoring eight goals - by the time he left for Europe three years later. He played briefly for Chiefs on his return to South Africa. A member of the 1996 Nations Cup-winning team, the late Motaung played 49 times for Bafana Bafana.
Centre-back: Neil Tovey
Tovey was captain of the all-conquering Chiefs side in the early 1990s. He had made his name long before as a hard-working, intelligent midfielder at Durban City and AmaZulu, but led Chiefs from a central defensive position. Tovey played 318 times for Chiefs and was South Africa’s 1996 Nations Cup captain, gaining a total of 52 international caps.
Centre-back: Lucas Radebe
South Africa’s greatest defender and the national captain at the 1998 World Cup, Radebe played 159 times for Kaizer Chiefs before joining Leeds United midway through 1994 with three NSL titles and a number of cup wins to his credit. A defender who tackled strongly and read the game immaculately, Radebe played 70 times for Bafana Bafana.
Left-back: Sam Kambule
Like Motaung, ‘Ewe’ Kambule was a powerful overlapping fullback. Comfortable on either flank, he joined Sundowns in 1986 and clocked up a then record 333 appearances for the club. He was a key figure in three title-winning sides and played nine times for South Africa on readmission to international football.
Defensive midfielder: Tinashe Nengomasha
A team packed with the finest creative midfielders and with fullbacks who love to attack would need a sure-footed, commanding holding midfielder who combines intelligence and awareness with strength and anticipation. Nengomasha was that man. The Zimbabwean played just over 300 times for Chiefs in ten seasons at the club between 2002 and 2012.
Central midfielder: Ernest Mtawali
Mtawali - or Chirwali as he was known in his Sundowns days - played 190 matches for the Tshwane side; his almost telepathic reading of the game and easy command of the ball helping the club to two League titles. Few midfielders were able to direct the play in the way the Malawian did when at his best. Sundowns fans enjoyed the best of Mtawali in 1993, when his dynamism inspired some of their finest football as they won the National Soccer League for the third time.
Right midfielder: Doctor Khumalo
The son of former Chiefs captain Eliakim ‘Pro’ Khumalo, Doctor was the man who inherited from Ace Ntsoelengoe the crown of chief orchestrator of Amakhosi’s best moves. He starred for the Glamour Club between 1987 and 2004, save for a short stint in South America and a spell in the USA. ‘16V’ could unnerve and disassemble a defence with a swing of his hips or a wave of his hand, and he enjoyed many a successful day in the black and gold. He retired having played 397 matches and scoring 74 goals for Chiefs, with the addition of 50 national caps and a 1996 Afcon winner’s medal.
Left midfielder: Roger Feutmba
Feutmba was already in his 30s when he joined Sundowns in 1997, but age was no problem as he directed their successful assault on the Premier Soccer League. For three years the Brazilians were unstoppable, winning a hat-trick of titles with the ‘The General’ commanding from his position in midfield. Feutmba, who had played 154 matches for Sundowns by the time of his departure in 2001, had been a member of Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions squad that impressed at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
Striker: Fani Madida
Madida was a fast, combative and clever striker who was the mainstay of Chiefs’ attack after the departure of 1980s hero Marks Maponyane. When he left Chiefs in 1992 after five years at the club to play in Turkey, ‘Didiza’ did so boasting a goal-rate of more than one every two matches. The most successful of South Africa’s exports to Turkey, he was capped 11 times during the early years of South Africa’s return to the international fold.
Striker: Daniel Mudau
Mudau scored 172 goals in 390 matches for Sundowns between 1993 and 2005 and was the League top scorer three times, including in his debut season for the club when he netted 22 as the 1993 NSL title was won. Mamelodi-born Mudau was also the leading PSL goalscorer in 1999/2000 and in 2000/01. ‘Mambush’ played 16 times for Bafana Bafana and was a squad member during the 1996 Afcon success.
Goalkeeper: Itumeleng Khune
Khune would be a more than able deputy between the posts.
Defenders: Cyril Nzama & Mohamed Ouseb
Cyril Nzama was a right-back with 44 Bafana caps who served Chiefs for eight years and played a part in two championship-winning campaigns. Namibian international Mohamed Ouseb was a sophisticated centre-back who starred for Chiefs at the turn of the century.
Midfielder: Harold Legodi
So many exceptional midfielders have graced the colours of Chiefs and Sundowns… who to choose? In the end, ‘Jazzy Queen’ Legodi’s searing pace and great control down the wing for Sundowns during the early 1990s makes him a great player to send on.
Striker: Raphael Chukwu
Sundowns’ ‘Chukwu Train’ provides a plan B option if Madida and Mudau are struggling. In many ways an old fashioned number 9, but so much more, his all-round game qualifies him to play just about anywhere across the line.
Ted Dumitru would be the man to lead this all-star team. The late, great Romanian guided Sundowns in 1997/98 and 1998/99, the first two seasons of their hat-trick of PSL titles, and he was the mastermind behind the Chiefs side that won the PSL in 2003/04 and 2004/05.
By Richard Maguire, former editor of KICK OFF Magazine
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