Ace deserve notion as well.
Soccer: Pule Ntsoelengoe
Pule "Ace" Ntsoelengoe made his mark both in South Africa, for glamour club Kaizer Chiefs, and in the United States, where he was elected to the US Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003.
The star midfielder of many fine Kaizer Chiefs teams of the mid-1970s to mid-1980s was accorded that honour along with seven other players, including Carlos Alberto, the captain of possibly the greatest team in history, Brazil's 1970 World Cup winners.
Eleven seasons in the US
Ace Ntsoelengoe is remembered as being the most gifted player on many great Kaizer Chiefs teams, a midfield general that helped his club win not only consistently, but with style.
However, Ntsoelengoe spent most of his prime football-playing days in North America, although he did return during the off-season to play for Chiefs in South Africa.
The midfield maestro played 11 seasons in North America, representing the Miami Torros, Denver Dynamos, Minnesota Kicks and Toronto Blizzards in the North American Soccer League (NASL).
By the time he was done with the NASL, he had certainly left his mark, ranking among the league's all-time leaders in both appearances and goals scored. He was also voted onto the NASL's first-team All Star line-up in 1979 and 1982, and earned honourable mentions in 1977, 1978 and 1980.
An interesting statistic was kept in the NASL in which players were awarded points both for goals scored and for "assists" (setting up goals). Ace ranks seventh on the all-time list, a lasting testament to his all-round performances, showing off not only his individual ability but also his team work.
The NASL season was structured so that, after the regular league season, the top teams would qualify for the playoffs. Ntsoelengoe made the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons, although he never managed to land the NASL title. He reached the final three times, but was on the losing side on all three occasions.
'Best player SA has ever produced'
Ntsoelengoe was an awesome presence in the midfield, and former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker - the most successful coach yet of the South African national team - who was coaching Amazulu in 1976, recalls how Ntsoelengoe orchestrated the Usuthus' downfall in a Cup final, leading Kaizer Chiefs to a 3-1 win in the first leg, and then to a 5-2 victory in the second leg.
Barker reckons that during the second match, he actually stood up and applauded a goal by Ace after the midfield star made an adjustment in mid-stride and then bent the ball around the advancing goalkeeper.
Ntsoelengoe, says Barker, was arguably the best player ever produced by South Africa.
How highly does Barker rate Ntsoelengoe? Put it this way: Barker puts him on the same level as the imperious French superstar Zinedine Zidane, who was widely acknowledged as the best player in a Real Madrid team filled with world-class superstars, and the man who helped France win the World Cup in 1998 with a string of sensational performances.
'Almost a perfect footballer'
In an article on the Mogale City website, Nat Serache relates a story about Ntsoelengoe when, in 1976, he played for a South African team selected on merit against an Argentinean select side.
The South Africans crushed their South American opposition five-nil. After the game, Argentinean manager Oscar Martinez was asked whom he rated as South Africa's top players.
He rated Ntsoelengoe as the best. "That boy is a mint", Martinez said. "He is almost a perfect footballer. He can dribble, he can shoot, he can attack, and he can defend.
"I can tell you why Ace stands head and shoulders above all your players", the Argentine manager continued. "He is intelligent; he has got great ability and he is strong and courageous. He plays like he has got a machine inside his body. He knows when to dribble and when to shoot.
"What I like about Ace is that he is good in the air, good on the ground and good everywhere you can think of. I cannot remember seeing the ball taken away from him", Martinez added.
After his playing career was over, Ntsoelengoe was involved with Kaizer Chiefs, making valuable contributions to the club's youth programme. He also assisted South Africa's national under-23 team.
Pule "Ace" Ntsoelengoe died in Johannesburg on 8 May 2006. He was 50 years old.