The greatest number 10s in SA football

Premiership

KickOff.com runs the rule over all the players in the PSL wearing the hallowed number 10 jersey – do they compare to the greatest legends?

All over the world the jersey number 10 has always been associated with the most talented footballers, usually given to skilful playmakers who make their team tick – the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.

View the greatest No. 10s the SA game has seen in the gallery above!

Numbers 10s create or score goals for their teams, make incisive passes, they orchestrate play, they use their soccer brains to read the game and predict what's going to happen before it even happens.

READ: 10 players who never fulfilled potential

In the townships it's often said, 'You can't put number 10 on the bench.'

In this article we look at players who are wearing this number in our own Absa Premiership this season. Do they deserve to wear it? Is it still significant today in our football? You be the judge.

Siphelele Ntshangase (Kaizer Chiefs)

To be given the jersey number 10 at such a gigantic club as Chiefs, you can tell a lot was expected from 'Stash' on his arrival. However, he has failed to make a single appearance this season.

Ntshangase's ability to find a teammate with a pass is similar to that of Doctor Khumalo, Shakes Kungwane and Roger Feutmba, but so far we have only seen his best football at Black Leopards.

READ: Jazzman: Why Stash renewed at Chiefs

Although his talent can never be doubted, he hasn't really done much for the club to show he deserves it. Nevertheless, signing a one-year contract extension shows he still believes he will make his mark.

Gaston Sirino (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Although he has only registered three assists, the Uruguayan has scored eight times in 23 matches this season and always causes problems for defences. The diminutive yet hot-tempered playmaker has established himself as one of the best number 10s in the PSL.

Haashim Domingo (Bidvest Wits)

Set to join Mamelodi Sundowns, the 24-year-old has played a total of 23 matches this season, signalling how important he is to Gavin Hunt's side. Domingo has scored two goals and provided two assists. Bongani Zungu recently supported the opinion that he is one of Ajax Cape Town's best ever products.

Luckyboy Mokoena (Highlands Park)

Despite providing only three assists and scoring once, Mokoena has done well considering that he plays at full-back. The fact that he has already played 32 matches in all competitions for The Lions of the North this season shows his importance. This is a very unusual jersey number for a defender, although former France star William Gallas once donned the number 10 at Arsenal.

Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC - released)

Rayners is at SuperSport United now after helping Stellenbosch win straight promotion to the Absa Premiership with his 19 goals last season, proving he deserves to wear the number. This season he only netted five times and provided six assists.

Thabo Mnyamane (SuperSport United - released)

Mnyamane has always been a promising and dangerous talent but struggled for game-time this season mainly due to injuries, playing only three matches and scoring one goal. He has since been released by Matsatsantsa.

Jeremy Brockie (Maritzburg United - released)

The New Zealand striker was given the number due to his reputation more than anything else. On loan from Mamelodi Sundowns where he also failed to replicate the form that made him one of the most feared strikers while still at SuperSport United, he only bagged one goal in 15 appearances for Maritzburg United.

The rest of the PSL's jersey number 10s:

Ndumiso Mabena (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Played 26 matches, 8 goals and 4 assists

Chris David (Cape Town City)
Played 11 matches, 1 goal and 2 assists

Mzikayise Mashaba (Chippa United)
Played 6 matches, 0 goals and 0 assists

Gerald Phiri Junior (Baroka FC)
Played 26 matches, 2 goals and 1 assist

Karabo Tshepe (Black Leopards - released)
Played 6 matches, 1 goal and 0 assists

Puleng Tlolane (Polokwane City)
Played 21 matches, 2 goals and 1 assist

Siyetembe Sithebe (AmaZulu FC)
Played 25 matches, 1 goal and 1 assist

READ: PSL released XI valued at R55.5-million

Soweto giants Orlando Pirates currently don't have a number 10 in their team in honour of the 'Black Prince' Jomo Sono, while Golden Arrows have retired the jersey to give respect to their legend Lucky Sibeko.

"Arrows have respect for Lucky Sibeko for what he did for the club," Arrows assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi tells KickOff.com.

"For his contribution, because I think he was also part of the team that promoted Arrows then. He was a very good player. Maybe there hasn't yet been a player who deserves it or who is on that level based on his contribution.

"Maybe one day, but for now, he is not here. That's my knowledge."

In the local game the likes of Sono, Absalom 'Scara' Thindwa, Isaac 'Shakes' Kungwane, Stanton 'Stiga' Fredericks, John 'Shoes' Moshoeu, Godfrey Sapula, Roger Feutmba, Steve 'Chippa' Lekoelea and Teko Modise never disappointed.

Check out some classic pics of those No. 10 legends in the gallery above!

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