Bafana Bafana legend Phil Masinga has died.
Buddha Mathathe‚ the president of the South African Masters and Legend Football Association‚ told TimesLIVE that Masinga passed away at a Parktown hospital on Sunday morning after a long illness.
Masinga was admitted to hospital in December where he was said to be suffering from an "undisclosed illness".
“He is gone. Our legend is gone…….It is not right‚” said an emotional Mathathe on Sunday morning.
“It is such tragic loss for the family and for the entire country. He is no ordinary legend‚ he was an international legend.”
The lanky 49-year old earned more than 50 caps for Bafana and it was his scintillating goal from 30 yards against Congo that got SA to a maiden appearance at the World Cup in 1998.
He played 58 times for the South African team, scoring 18 goals in national colours and was part of the famous squad that claimed Bafana Bafana's first and only Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) crown in 1996.
Masinga also played for Leeds in the English Premiership in the 1990's, along with Lucas Radebe.
In 328 professional appearances, the striker scored 154 goals.
Masinga‚ played in England‚ Switzerland‚ Italy‚ Mamelodi Sundowns‚ Leeds United‚ Jomo Cosmos‚ among many others.
Masinga is best remembered for his 1997 goal against Congo Brazzaville that booked South Africa a spot at its maiden World Cup in France 1998.