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Football rocked by tragic car crash death of World Cup hero

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Anele Ngcongca, pictured here in action for South Africa at the 2010 World Cup.
Anele Ngcongca in action for South Africa at the 2010 World Cup. (Photo by AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)

The football world is mourning the tragic death of South African World Cup hero Anele Ngcongca.

The former international defender was killed in a car accident on Monday, his Premier Soccer League club AmaZulu have confirmed.

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The 33-year-old was a member of the South Africa squad at their home World Cup in 2010 and started the 2-1 victory over France.

He won 53 caps over seven years in the national team, with his last appearance coming in 2016.

He also spent nine seasons at Belgian side Genk, competing in the Champions League in five of those and making 279 appearances.

The right back was named in the club's Team of the Century in 2015 alongside Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

Ngcongca was a passenger in the vehicle as it lost control on a highway 50 kilometres north of Durban.

The female driver is in a critical condition in hospital.

“On arrival of IPSS advanced life support paramedics, they found an adult male lying approximately 30m from the wrecked vehicle,” Paul Herbst of IPSS Medical Rescue said in a statement.

“The man showed no signs of life and was declared dead by paramedics.”

Football world in shock over Ngcongca’s death

Ngcongca has been hailed by his former coach, Pitso Mosimane, as an “unsung hero”.

“We were blessed to have him,” Mosimane told AFP as he recalled the four years they spent together at Mamelodi Sundowns before both left the Pretoria outfit recently.

Mosimane joined record eight-time African champions Al Ahly of Egypt while Ngcongca moved to AmaZulu, another top-flight South African club who are based in Durban.

“He brought so much experience to Sundowns having played in Europe and was a brilliant man marker,” Mosimane said.

Pitso Mosimane and Anele Ngcongca, pictured here during a match in 2019.
Pitso Mosimane and Anele Ngcongca during a match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs in 2019. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

“If our opponents had a star attacker, I would assign Anele to shadow him.

“On the field he was a great if often underrated footballer and off the field he was an absolute gentleman.

“My condolences to all those who knew and loved Anele.”

His agent, former Orlando Pirates coach Mike Makaab, said: “My heart is sore. I have lost my son, Anele Ngcongca, a young man with whom I shared a special relationship for over a decade.”

Tributes have also been flooding in on social media.

with agencies

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