Lebohang Ramalepe Reflects on Reaching 100 Caps for Banyana Banyana

Lebohang Ramalepe has expressed her delight at clocking up her 100th cap for the South African women’s national football team, becoming the 11th Banyana Banyana player to reach that memorable milestone.

The Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies defender recently achieved the historic feat in the winner-takes-all Paris Olympic qualifier second leg fixture against Nigeria. Interestingly, the West Africans also featured in Ramalepe’s celebration of another significant milestone – her 50th cap for Banyana Banyana back in 2018.

“It feels so amazing to have reached my 100th appearance. Throughout my journey as a footballer, I never thought I would attain this landmark moment. To be joining an elite list of legends who have accomplished this milestone means a lot to me and I appreciate everyone who has played a part in my success as a footballer,” Ramalepe stated.

On her most memorable game during her centenary run of appearances, the Masandawana defender stated, “I have played in many exciting games since making my debut with the national team. However, my favorite moment ever was winning the 2022 Women’s AFCON. I was part of the team that finished as runners-up in 2018 and to finally win it four years later remains my most treasured moment.”

The Limpopo-born player now joins an elite list of footballers – Janine van Wyk, Noko Matlou, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Nothando Vilakazi, Refiloe Jane, Portia Modise, Mamello Makhabane, Amanda Dlamini, Leandra Smeda and Jermaine Seoposenwe – who have achieved this milestone. The energetic full-back believes things can only get better for her.

“This milestone will only push me to work harder as a footballer for both club and country. I think I have more to give on the pitch and the plan is to keep working hard and be there for my teammates. Hard work and discipline remain my watchwords,” she added.

In her debut campaign with Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies last year, Ramalepe played a pivotal role as the team won every competition it participated in. Now, she believes her experience will be valuable for the Brazilians who are aiming to retain their titles this season.

“At Sundowns Ladies, there are so many experienced players and having played with several of them in the national team, it was easy to settle into the team’s philosophy. Apart from my on-pitch performances, I am also happy to play my part in helping the younger generation achieve their goals at the club”, concluded the defender.

Lebohang Ramalepe made her Banyana Banyana debut in 2014 against Zimbabwe and has gone on to enjoy 10 successful years with the team. She participated in two FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments: 2019 (France) and 2023 (Australia and New Zealand), where the team reached the Round of 16. She was also part of the squad for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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