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Bafana Bafana Players Representing the South African National Team

Bafana Bafana Players Representing The South African National Team

Bafana Bafana is the nickname of the South African men’s national football team. It’s one of the most recognizable in Africa for several reasons, one being they’re the first African nation to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, none of the current crop of Bafana Bafana players were involved.

The team has played in the World Cup thrice, in 1998, 2002 and 2010. They failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In Africa, Bafana Bafana has won the Africa Cup of Nations once – 1996 – and in recent times, they’ve reached the semi-finals. 

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Bafana Bafana Players

The Bafana Bafana players training. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-2.0

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos led them to third place at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire. This article looks at the players on the national team, as of 2024.   

Goalkeepers

Ronwen Williams

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Ronwen Williams is the first-choice goalkeeper and captain of Bafana Bafana. So far, he’s played 44 games since his debut in 2014. Ronwen plays his club football at Mamelodi Sundowns, after leaving SuperSport United in 2022.

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Defenders

Khuliso Mudau, Right-Back 

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Mudau is one of the Sundowns players in Bafana Bafana. With 14 games to his name, he’s a relatively new face in the back line. At 29 years of age, Mudau still has a chance to play for the team, and even become a regular in the Bafana Bafana squad. 

Thapelo Morena, Right Back

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The striker produced a world-class performance in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. He scored two goals and added more caps to his record. He now has 23 senior appearances.

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Mothobi Mvala, Centre Back

Mothobi Mvala on Robert Marawa’s show. Video Credit: 947 Joburg

Mothobi Mvala first played for the national team in 2017. He’s put on a string of strong performances and raked in 22 caps for Bafana Bafana. The defender was part of the team that played in the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Mvala scored his first and only goal to date in a World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia. Mvala plays for Mamelodi Sundowns in the DStv Premiership. 

Nkosinathi Sibisi, Centre Back

Nkosinathi debuted for the team against Uganda in June 2021. Key to his agenda is to make good of his time under Hugo Broos and become a regular. Sibisi was in the Bafana Bafana team that finished third at AFCON 2024. He plays his club football at Orlando Pirates.

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Aubrey Modiba, Left Back

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Modiba has 33 caps for Bafana Bafana. His first game was against Lesotho in the 2016 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA Cup). The left-back has three goals for the team and is one of the players in Broos’ team for the 2026 World Cup qualifier.

Midfielders

Teboho Mokoena, Central Midfielder 

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Mokoena is a trusted member of Broos’ team. He scored a crucial goal at the Africa Cup of Nations against Nigeria in the semi-final to force extra-time and penalties. He’s played 36 times for Bafana and scored six goals. The midfielder plays for the Mamelodi Sundowns.

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Sphephelo Sithole, Central Midfielder 

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Sithole is one of the Bafana Bafana players featured in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. He received his first cap in 2022 during AFCON qualifiers against Morocco. The midfielder has 16 caps and if he continues being solid, will be Broos’ go-to midfielder.

Themba Zwane, Attacking Midfield

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Zwane is one of the most experienced Bafana Bafana players. He has 45 caps, with his first coming in 2014 against Australia. The midfielder has scored 11 goals, including twice against Namibia at AFCON 2023 and Algeria in an international friendly. 

Forwards

Elias Mokwana, Right Forward

Mokwana is in the early stages of his career with Bafana Bafana. He’s played only one game, against Andorra in an international friendly in March, and scored two goals. Mokwana is surrounded by experienced players that will help him to develop. 

Lyle Foster, Forward  

Lyle Foster at 947 Joburg. Video Credit: 947 Joburg

Burnley striker Lyle Foster has come up through the ranks of the Bafana Bafana team. He played in the U17, U20 and U23 until he made his first senior appearance in 2019. So far, the forward has recorded 14 starts for Bafana Bafana after his debut in 2022. He previously turned up for French club Monaco but spent part of his playing time on loan at Cercle Brugge. 

These Bafana Bafana players have recently represented the country in various competitions, including the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. The squad consist has a good balance of youth and experienced players. Do you think Bafana Bafana will qualify for the 2026 World Cup?

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