A total of 96 foreign players from 27 different countries have featured in the Soweto derby since the launch of the Premier Soccer League, giving an international touch to the ‘Classico’ of the South African season.
Neighbours Zimbabwe have produced the most foreign players for the clash between arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and there have been players from a further 21 different African countries who have taken to the field in the most anticipated clashes of the South African season.
Plus, there have been protagonists from as far afield as Australia, Eastern Europe and South America.
Chiefs have never failed to field at least one foreigner in their line-up in every derby since 1996 while Pirates have had a handful of games with an all-South African line-up.
23 ZIMBABWEANS IN SOWETO DERBY (Goals 10):
Onismor Bhasera: Left back who had two seasons at Chiefs before heading to England. He came back to South African football and is still going strong at the age of 36, captaining SuperSport in the DStv Premiership this season.
Khama Billiat: Chiefs’ highest paid player after singing from Sundowns, he scored on his derby debut in October 2018 but has failed to find the yet in eight derbies since
Innocent Chikoya: Member of Pirates’ league winning team in 2003, he was a hardworking fullback who also played at African Wanderers, Manning Rangers and Moroka Swallows.
Edmore Chirambadare: Left sided player who Chiefs spent good money on, to buy from ex-Zimbabwe champions Chicken Inn but who failed to live up to his billing.
Edelbert Dinha: Influential defender who was first at Ajax Cape Town before moving to Pirates, playing in three derbies between 2002 and 2004.
Cleophas Dlodlo: Chiefs centre back who was tormented by Pirates’ hat-trick hero Sikhosana as Pirates won 4-1 in November 1996 and then again two months later.
Terrence Dzvukamanja: Made a major splash when he arrived at Wits in 2018 but struggled to score goals and for playing time at the SeaRobbers and started only two derbies before departing Pirates for SuperSport United.
Teenage Hadebe: Made a single derby appearance in 2019, leaving Chiefs to play in Turkey and is now in Major League Soccer with Houston Dynamo.
Zhaimu Jambo: Left-back whose career was cut short by a bad leg break, he was at Chiefs for five years from 2009 to 2014.
Willard Katsande: Midfield general and fan favourite with the most number of derby appearances by a foreigner — a total of 27 plus two goals in March 2014 and January 2016 — both back-post headers that he celebrated with much delight.
Mitchell Katsvairo: Spent one season at Chiefs in 2016-17 without any impact and is now playing in Botswana.
Zvenyika Makonese: Tough tackling defensive hardman who was at Cape Town club Santos first before moving to Pirates where he spent two seasons between 2009 and 2011.
Liberty Masunda: Tall centre forwad who played in two derbies for Chiefs in 1998 but did not make much of an impression at the club.
Robson Muchichwa: Winger who was crowd pleaser in the early days of the PSL, playing for Chiefs six times in derby games against Pirates between 1997 and 1999.
Marshall Munetsi: Now competing in Ligue 1 in France where he famously marked Lionel Messi out of the game on his PSG debut, the defensive midfielder and occasional centre back was previously on the books of Pirates.
Gilbert Mushangazhike: A league winner with Manning Rangers in the first PSL season in 1997, he went off to China before returning to play for Pirates, and scored in the derby in November 2008.
Kelvin Mushangazhike: Younger brother of Gilbert who played for Chiefs as a sub in the derby in May 2002.
It is the only case of two foreign siblings on the opposite sides of the derby, although they never played against each other.
Knowledge Musona: The ‘Smiling Assassin’ had two spells with Chiefs on either side of time spent in the Bundesliga. He scored three goals in 11 derby appearances.
Tendai Ndoro: Netted twice in his first derby in March 2016 as Pirates beat Chiefs 2-0 in the first round of the Nedbank Cup. Both goals came within seven minutes of each other in the final quarter-hour of the game.
Tinashe Nengomasha: One of the best foreigners to ever wear a Chiefs shirt, he was spotted at under-20 level and was at Chiefs from 2002 to 2011, playing in 22 derbies.
Kingstone Nkhatha: Chiefs striker who missed more than he scored and got on the wrong side of the fans but when he netted in the derby in October 2013 was able to put his finger to his lips in a gesture to silence the boo-boys.
Thomas Sweswe: Defender who was later banned for match fixing with the Zimbabwe national team. He played for Chiefs in seven derbies.
Lincoln Zvasiya: There was a single derby appearance in 2012 for the defender, who moved to Greece after his time at AmaKhosi. — SuperSport.