Thibaut Courtois and Kevin De Bruyne have paid respects to Genk legend Anele Ngcongca after his untimely passing on Monday morning.
Ngcongca was involved in a tragic accident on the N2 highway in KwaZulu-Natal ahead of his expected unveiling at AmaZulu this week after the club struck a season-long loan deal with Mamelodi Sundowns.
Tributes have poured in across South Africa and the continent, with Al Ahly president Mahmoud El-Khatib sending condolences to his family and Sundowns.
But the 53-time capped Bafana Bafana defender was held in high regard in Belgium too, with his nine-year stint in Genk earning him a place in the team of the decade as he played alongside some of Europe’s biggest names.
Having won the Jupiler Pro League, Belgian Cup and Super Cup twice, Ngcongca is widely considered as one of the club’s greatest ever defenders and his former teammates De Bruyne and Courtois – now at Manchester City and Real Madrid respectively – reacted to the shocking news.
“Sad to hear former Genkie Anele is no longer with us,” the Belgium goalkeeper wrote on Twitter. “Being one of the most enthusiastic players I have ever met.
“I’ll always remember your smile and will carry your positive mindset with me. We’ll miss you deeply, my friend. My thoughts go out to your family.”
Ngcongca represented the Belgian top-flight club 279 times over nine years after joining them from FC Fortune in 2007.