Siyabonga Sangweni

The moniker Nsimbi, isiZulu for Iron Man, describes only one facet of Siyabonga Sangweni’s football. The rugged central defender’s tackling is hard as steel. But it’s his knack for finding vital goals that lights up stadiums. Chief among these is the late curling strike in Durban to put Bafana Bafana into the quarterfinals of the 2013 African Cup of Nations. “I don’t know. I just told myself to let go and try my luck,” the unassuming star said later. The 31-year-old Empangeni-born player spent much of his career at Golden Arrows, only transferring to Orlando Pirates in 2011. There Sangweni was pivotal to his side’s treble-winning season. In return, Bucs named him their player of the year and fans did the same in an online poll. Sangweni is now also a farmer and businessman but Bafana fans hope to hang on to his football skills until at least the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. — Ian Macleod