The South African Football Association (Safa) has announced that Banyana’s highest-scoring striker Portia Modise, who received top honours at last year’s South African Sports Awards, will no longer play for the team.

Kickoff reports that Safa President Danny Jordaan, who made the announcement this morning, hopes the striker will stay on to guide other players.

“This is a special moment. This is one player who knew how to get the ball into the net,” he said. “We’re going to create a coaching path for Portia. We certainly hope she will pursue a coaching career.”

Known for impeccable skills, Modise made her first appearance for the national women’s team in 2000. She has made 117 appearances and scored 100 goals for the team.

Speaking to eNCA last year about her achievements, Modise said playing football came easily for her and that she wanted to create opportunities for other female footballers and change the way women’s football is viewed. She said many young people like herself, who grew up in poverty-stricken communities, don’t believe they can achieve great things, but her experience has taught her differently.

Discussing her retirement, Modise said she knew it was time to quit when she realised her age was catching up with her, Times Live reports.

“I’m not saying goodbye to the football association, I’m saying ‘see you later’. I would really like to contribute to the country’s soccer building.

“I’m not crying because I’m sad or because there are other issues. I’m crying because these are tears of joy. I have really good memories; I have represented my country as a soldier.”
Sources: Kickoff, eNCA, Times Live