Andile Jali

Midfielder: Orlando Pirates

Andile Jali is emerging as a 21-year-old with the footballing brain, and vision, of a grizzled veteran to go with his incredible lungs, good first touch, composure and rasping long-range shooting. The deep-lying central midfielder was voted South African Football Association Youth Footballer in 2010 �his debut season as a professional � and has been tipped to play for one of the European giants, such as Real Madrid, by no less a talent-spotter than Bafana Bafana's African Nations Cup-winning coach, Clive Barker. Born in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, Jali played football for several amateur clubs before Barker gave him his big break three years ago, after watching the precocious youngster at the Coca-Cola Football Stars tournament in Port Elizabeth. A bursary to complete his matric at the Pretoria Centre became a stepping stone to South Africa's under-20 team and to Bafana's 30-man World Cup squad before a cardiovascular ailment was detected. Fortunately tests revealed minor issues that are unlikely to stall Jali's meteoric rise. � Niren Tolsi

Website: orlandopiratesfc.com