Sasol expressed their gratitude towards former Banyana Banyana striker Portia Modise after she announced that she is hanging up her boots.

The South African Senior Women’s National Team sponsor, Sasol, have expressed their gratitude towards former Banyana Banyana striker Portia Modise after she announced that she is hanging up her boots.

Modise made the announcement that she will be retiring from international football at a media briefing held at SAFA House on Tuesday morning, 19 May.

The Soweto born footballer was the longest serving player in Banyana Banyana with 124 caps. She scored 101 goals in National Team colors, making her the first African footballer to ever score 100 international goals.

Nicknamed ‘Bashin’ after the Orlando Pirates goal scoring legend Albert ‘Bashin’ Mahlangu, Modise played a vital role in Banyana Banyana’s achievements in the years that she represented the country on the field of play.

“Sasol would like to congratulate Portia on the milestone of having represented South Africa more than a 100 times and scoring more than 100 goals. Her experience played a vital role in the team. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours and hope she will not be lost to the women’s game in South Africa,” said Sasol Sponsorship Specialist, Dumisani Mbokane.

Modise started playing football at the tender age of 10, choosing the sport over netball in school. She played for Soweto Rangers at U/10 level and Jomo Cosmos Ladies before joining Soweto Ladies in 1996.

At the age of 13 she captained Basetsana before being called –up to the senior side two years later. She made her debut in the senior national team in 2000.

She also had a stint overseas where she played for Denmark side, Fortuna Hjorring for two seasons.

“She has been a great motivation to young female footballers, a true ambassador of women’s football in South Africa. We hope her achievements will inspire more women to be involved in the sport,” concluded Mbokane.

“I’m not saying goodbye to the football association, I’m saying see you later. I would really like to contribute to building football in this country,” Modise said.

1 Modise scored her first goal for South Africa in the 2000 African Women’s Championships against Zimbabwe.

2 South Africa has a long-standing rivalry with Nigeria’s Super Falcons, with the west Africans generally getting the better of their rivals. The first time Banyana avoided defeat was in a 2-2 draw in a qualifier for the 2004 Olympics and Modise scored both goals for her country. “They were really important goals because we managed to draw the game and from then on we knew that we did not have to lose against the Nigerians.” South Africa will be facing their nemesis in the semi-finals in Namibia on Wednesday.

3 Modise spent three seasons playing in Denmark with Fortuna Hjorring. “It was terrific playing in Europe, and I was top scorer for my club in one season. I think I scored something like 15 or 16 goals.”

4 The 31-year-old says: “I believe that I still have four, maybe five years left playing at the highest level. I am still hoping for other opportunities, like being signed by a club overseas and playing abroad for one or two years.”

6 Modise started playing football on the streets when she was six. Not many years later she started playing senior football. “I played my first official game when I was 12 years old and my first game for the South African under-19 side when I was just 14 years old.”

25 The striker scored for her country at the 2012 Olympics against Sweden on 25 July, beating the opposing goalkeeper with an effort from the centre circle. “I intercepted a Swedish pass in our half and then started running towards their goal. At the edge of the circle I saw that the goalkeeper was off her line, so I just let it fly. It was a beautiful goal.”

100 Modise scored her 100th goal with three minutes remaining on the clock in South Africa’s 5-1 victory against Algeria. Modise was modest after her achievement. “I am really just doing my job by scoring goals. But it is still great to have achieved 100 and it is an honour to be the first African. I think it also shows that nothing is impossible in football. I think showing that is a great achievement.” Modise was praised for her performance by the technical director of the South African Football Association, Fran Hilton-Smith. “Portia, now a member of the 100 cap and goal club, has also made history as a woman footballer by being nominated as a member of the top 100 women in South Africa list a few years back. She is a role model for all women footballers in the country and has a huge fan club in South Africa. She is a very determined lady and is not easily swayed from her goals. Her commitment has always shone through and she is committed to the success of the team. Her stint overseas gave her a better vision into the game and she brought this back to South Africa.”

117 Modise scored her 100th goal in her 117th match for Banyana Banyana.

2006 Modise won the gold ball for the best player at the fifth continental championship in 2006. “We finished third and it was an honour to be elected as the most valuable player of the tournament.”