5 most expensive transfers involving SA players between European clubs

Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu (R) challenges for the ball against Bayala Cyrille Barros during a World Cup qualifier match between South Africa and Burkina Faso on the October 7 2017 at Soccer City, Johannesburg.
Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu (R) challenges for the ball against Bayala Cyrille Barros during a World Cup qualifier match between South Africa and Burkina Faso on the October 7 2017 at Soccer City, Johannesburg.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Bongani Zungu’s potential €7m (R108m) switch from French Ligue 1 side Amiens to Olympiakos in Greece would be the most expensive transfer involving a Bafana Bafana international in history.

Zungu is being chased by his former coach at Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes‚ Pedro Martins‚ who wants to be reunited with the midfielder after taking over at the Greek club.

It would not be a record amount paid for a South African-born player though.

That figure stands at a whopping €17.5ms (R271m) which German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen paid‚ ironically‚ Olympiakos for former Johannesburg local and Greece international Panagiotis Retsos.

SowetanLIVE looks at the most expensive transfers involving South African players between European clubs.

SHAUN BARTLETT

Transfer: FC Zurich to Charlton Athletic

Value: €2.25m (R35m)

Former Bafana Bafana striker Bartlett made the switch from Swiss side FC Zurich to Charlton Athletic in 2001 having already spent a season on loan in London.

He would turn out to be a hit at The Valley‚ staying for five-and-a-half years as part of a successful career in Europe which ended when he joined Kaizer Chiefs in 2006.

MARK FISH

Transfer: Lazio to Bolton Wanderers

Value: €3.03m (R47m)

Fish had joined Italian Serie A side Lazio from Orlando Pirates in 1997‚ but found the going tough and Rome and within a year was on the move to England and top-flight side Bolton.

Lazio still doubled their money on the deal‚ selling Fish for a little over R3-million and it proved a good deal for Bolton as he spent almost four years there and eventually moved on to Charlton for around half of what they paid for him.

TOKELO RANTIE

Transfer: Malmo to Bournemouth

Value: €4.05m (R63m)

At the time that English side Bournemouth signed Rantie from Malmo in Sweden he was their record purchase‚ such was the high regard they held him in.

But this move proved less successful with Rantie unable to hold down a first team place and not settling on the English south coast.

He would eventually be sold on to Turkish side Genclerbirligi for 1.8-million Euros‚ who he quit in October last year.

He remains clubless.

STEVEN PIENAAR

Transfer: Tottenham Hotspur to Everton

Value: €5.75m (R90m)

Three of Pienaar’s transfers in his career would actually make the top five on our list‚ but his most expensive was the €5.75m that Everton paid Tottenham Hotpsur to bring him back to Goodison Park in 2012.

Everton had sold him to Spurs 18 months earlier for €3.6m‚ but injury and loss of form meant Pienaar did not settle in London and made a successful return to Merseyside.

BENNI MCCARTHY

Transfer: Ajax Amsterdam to Celta Vigo

Value: €6m (R93m)

SA’s record goal-scorer McCarthy would make a number of moves in his career‚ but it was his first in Europe that was the most lucrative when he left Ajax Amsterdam for Celta Vigo in Spain.

This would not quite work out at Celta and a switch to FC Porto followed‚ where he won the UEFA Champions League under Jose Mourinho.

He would also later play in England with Blackburn and West Ham.

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