Top Six: Ranking South Africans to play in the Champions League

Percy Tau, Club Brugge, August 2019
Getty Images
Percy Tau made his UCL debut as Club Brugge beat Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday. Goal ranks the top six South Africans to play in the competition

  1. Dino Ndlovu

    #6 Dino Ndlovu

    Ndlovu will go down as one of the most underrated players in South Africa, but he achieved what very few players did, and that's playing in the Uefa Champions League

    The Klerksdorp-born striker made 11 appearances in the Champions League with Qarabag and scored four goals. 

    He featured in the group stages for Qarabag, facing the likes of Chelsea, AS Roma and Atletico Madrid

  2. Thulani Serero

    #5 Thulani Serero

    Serero made South Africa proud when Ajax Amsterdam stunned Barcelona 2-1 in the 2013 edition of the Champions League

    He was the darling of South African football at the time, and he topped that performance with a 19th-minute goal from a Ricardo van Rhijn cross.  

    Overall, Serero made 11 appearances, scored once and grabbed two assists for Ajax in the competition.  

  3. Quinton Fortune
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    #4 Quinton Fortune

    Fortune's career took off in Spain, but struggling for game time at Atletico Madrid, he moved to the Premier League to sign for Manchester United in 1999. 

    After a slow start to life in Manchester, Fortune's big break finally came and he went on to make 27 Champions League appearances under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson. 

    The left-footed player found the back of the net twice in the competition whilst representing Man United. 

  4. Steven Pienaar
    Getty Images

    #3 Steven Pienaar

    The former Bafana Bafana captain made his Champions League debut for Ajax Amsterdam in 2002 and went on to play a further 28 games for them. 

    Following his move to Tottenham Hotspur during the 2010/11 season, Pienaar made it 31 Champions League matches under his belt with two appearances for the English side. 

    He scored twice in the competition, but his highlight was reaching the quarter-finals with Ajax in 2003. 

    "We went close when we got to the quarter-finals and we lost to AC Milan in the last minute. AC Milan actually went on to win the competition. As a player, you dream of winning the trophy with the big ears," Pienaar told Goal earlier this year. 

  5. Lucas Radebe

    #2 Lucas Radebe

    Lucas Radebe is one of the most respected legends in England, and while he starred much more in the Uefa Cup for Leeds United, he played a role in helping the English outfit reach the semi-finals of 2000/01 Champions League season. 

    'Rhoo' featured eight times for Leeds that season before being ruled out of the competition through injury toward the knockout stages.

    He played against the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Lazio, Besiktas and Anderlecht that season. 

  6. Benni McCarthy
    Getty Images

    #1 Benni McCarthy

    Benni McCarthy remains the only South African to have won the Champions League

    He achieved this feat with Porto in 2004 where he was instrumental in the team's road to the final, including scoring a brace against Manchester United

    Overall, McCarthy made 28 appearances in the competition and scored nine goals.