Female soccer player, member of South Africa National Women’s Soccer Team, Banyana Banyana
Portia “Bashin” Modise was born on 20 June 1983 in White City Soweto, Transvaal (now Gauteng Province). Modise chose football at a young age over the more popular girls’ choice of netball. She started playing soccer at the age of seven. She grew up playing football in the street with the boys in her neighbourhood, and began playing with the Soweto Rangers at the under-10 level. She played as a central striker. She started playing for the South African Women’s National team, Banyana Banyana, in 2000 at the age of 16 years old.
In 2000, Modise made her debut in the African Women’s Championships (AWC). She has earned 120 caps for the South African National Women’s team, Banyana Banyana, making her one of the most experienced women in the game in the world. She also played a key role on the road to the final of the African Women’s Championship held in Equatorial Guinea on 15 – 19 November 2008. In 2003, she had a trial with the British team, Arsenal women’s squad, but saw the move curtailed due to financial issues.
She played for soccer teams such as Falcons F.C, Soweto Ladies F.C, and Croesus Ladies. In 2007, Modise signed a two-year deal to play for Denmark’s Fortuna HjÁ¸rring in the Elitedivisionen, before returning to South Africa in 2009 to play for the Palace Super Falcons.
In 2008, she quit international football after falling out with the coach at the time, Augustine Makalakalane. Makalakalane was later accused of sexual harassment and homophobia and eventually sacked. She was recalled by new coach Joseph Mkhonza in 2012 and scored South Africa’s only goal at the 2012 London Olympics. She was the most valuable player in the FIFA Stars Team in China.
Modise was nominated for the Women’s FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2005 and the 2006 Confederation of African Football Women’s Football of the Year award. She won the 2006 player of the year championship at the Women’s African Football Championship, and 2014 South African Sports Star award of the year 2014. She was also nominated for 2012 Sports Women of the year. She scored 102 goals for Banyana Banyana, making her a true legend of women’s soccer in South Africa.
She was honoured by the South African Football Association (SAFA) after scoring her 100th goal for Banyana Banyana in the African Women’s Championship (AWC) in Namibia in 2014. On 19 May 2015, Portia Modise retired from international football at the age of 31 years. The announcement was made at the SAFA house in Nasrec, Gauteng, by SAFA.
She intended on pursuing a coaching qualification. She already had some experience in the role, having spent time with Orlando Pirates academy in 2006. Modise also became a brand ambassador for South African football.