“Ace” is a nickname which is synonymous with South African football. In all generations there are always players who go by this moniker – can you name any?
Today, we take a look at some of the Ace's that have graced our fields.
Arguably the greatest player that South Africa has ever produced, the late midfield maestro used to pull the strings in the Kaizer Chiefs midfield. Ntsoelengoe also played in America, but he sadly passed on in 2006. At the time of his passing he was a Chiefs development coach.
Back in the day when Moroka Swallows was at its best, they had a skillful player by the name of Ace Mnini. Such was his skill; he was also named "Mkhuthuzi” (someone who pick-pockets) in relation to way in which he tricked opposition defenders.
The former Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs midfielder was a marvel to watch in his hey-days. Today, Khuse is developing future Ace's in the Kaizer Chiefs MDC team.
Infamous for going AWOL with Jabu Pule (Mahlangu) ahead of Kaizer Chiefs' crucial league encounter against Free State Stars in 2001. Besides his off-field antics, Mbuthu was a brilliant player and was an integral part of Shakes Mashaba's U23 side that qualified for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Sadly, though, he was unfortunately ruled out due injury.
The diminutive midfielder was a fan favourite at Bloemfontein Celtic and he also represented the national youth teams as well as Bafana Bafana. Given all the potential he possessed, "Ace" never reached the heights he was destined for.
A very versatile player, who can be deployed as a striker or as a defender, Bhengu has had a rollercoaster of a career. He announced his arrival in the elite league with a bang, scoring a brace for Moroka Swallows against Kaizer Chiefs. However, things went pear shaped for the lanky player, and after moving from team-to-team without any luck, he found himself playing in the National First Division for Thanda Royal Zulu.
It was with the Richards Bay-based outfit where Bhengu proved he was a real Ace, ending the season as the top goalscorer. This prompted SuperSport United to add him to their roster.
Whenever in possession of the ball, screams of "Aceeeeeeee" echo around the stadium. Manyisa has been a mainstay with the Orlando Pirates side over the past few seasons, dictating terms in the heart of midfield. However, he has only played a cameo role this season due to an injury. Fortunately, though, he looks set to make a comeback having recovered from the injury.
All the above-mentioned players had "an ace up their sleeve". Which Ace do you consider as the best?