|Full name||Mandla Grateful Masango|
|Date of birth||18 July 1989|
|Place of birth||Kwaggafontein, South Africa|
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|HP Silver Stars|
|2006||South Africa U-17||3||(2)|
|2009||South Africa U-20||4||(1)|
|2011||South Africa U-23||3||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 March 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).
Mandla Greatful Masango (born 18 July 1989) is a South African footballer who plays as a midfielder. He currently plays for Kaizer Chiefs F.C. in the Premier Soccer League. Masango has also represented South Africa at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels.
Masango joined Kaizer Chiefs in 2007 ahead of the 2007–08 Premier Soccer League season. He made his debut against Thanda Royal Zulu on 15 August 2007, scoring the Chiefs' first goal in a 2–0 win. He has gradually become a regular in the club's first team, making ten league appearances in 2009–10, before playing 20 league games in 2010–11. He has played twice so far in the 2011–12 season. Masango also scored for Kaiser Chiefs in their 2–0 win over Mpumalanga Black Aces on 24 February 2010, again opening the scoring. In the 2012–13 season where Chiefs won a league and cup double, Masango played only nine league games. In 2013–14, he made his CAF Champions League debut against Black Africa and scored a scissor kick from a Knowledge Musona cross in the 3-0 win. He also came off the bench in the Nedbank Cup Last 16 match and scored a diving header against ABC Motsepe League side FC Buffalo. At the end of the season, he attracted interest from Sweden Superettan club, Landskrona BoIS which already had a South African in their team with Bradley Ralani. He also received an offer from Mpumalanga Black Aces but the deal was put on ice after they found out about his high salary. He was also on the verge of being loaned to Ajax Cape Town or Moroka Swallows. Masango started off the 2014–15 season with a brace in a 4-0 win over Mpumalanga Black Aces in the MTN8. He scored his first league goal of 2014–15 in a 2–1 win over Mpumalanga Black Aces on 13 August 2013. He also scored a solitary goal against Bloemfontein Celtic in the 81st minute on 19 August 2014. On 11 September 2014, Masango and Stuart Baxter were named ABSA Premiership Player and Coach of the Month. After being rested against University of Pretoria, he played in the 1–0 win over Orlando Pirates in the MTN 8 2014 Final. Masango scored a solitary penalty goal in the 45th minute against Maritzburg United on 27 September 2014. Masango eventually attracted the interest of Ligue 1 club Rennes which hoped to sign him in January or the end of 2014–15 shouldn't his contract be extended. The club planned to send a representative for the then upcoming Soweto derby but was postponed as it was on the day of the funeral of the late South African national team captain Senzo Meyiwa. The club later revealed that Rennes would send a scout to watch him at the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
Style of play
Masango is of lean and diminutive built. Muhsin Ertugral who signed Masango in 2007 compared him to maverick genius Jabu Pule who he said had ability to read and change the game, and create spaces as well as bravely take on defenders. Masango plays as a right winger, secondary striker and also as an attacking midfielder. Masango was also described as Le James Noir. FifaPlayerRatings.com suggests that Masango would excel more as a forward for his "better finishing ability than most midfielders" and "above average balance" and ranks him in the top 20% of attacking players in FIFA 15 and the 270th best Right Midfielder in the game.
Masango has a diploma in General Management and is currently studying project management at Boston City Campus.
- Scores and results list South Africa's goal tally first.
|1.||20 July 2013||Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola||Lesotho||1–1||2–1||Friendly|
|2.||27 January 2015||Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo||Ghana||1–0||1–2||2015 Africa Cup of Nations|
|3.||25 March 2015||Somhlolo National Stadium, Lobamba||Swaziland||3–1||3–1||Friendly|
U-17 and U-20
Masango has the unusual distinction of having scored on his debut for every national side he has represented. He made three appearances, scoring twice, for South Africa U-17 before moving on to the U-20 team, where he played four times, three of these games coming at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Masango scored a consolation in the 6–1 defeat to Germany U-20 on 5 September 2009, in a World Cup warm-up match.
U-20 appearances and goals
|1||5 September 2009||Sportpark Husterhöhe, Pirmasens||Germany U-20||L 6–1||Friendly||1|
|2||27 September 2009||Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria||United Arab Emirates U-20||D 2–2||2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup|
|3||30 September 2009||Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria||Hungary U-20||L 4–0||2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup|
|4||6 October 2009||Ismailia Stadium, Ismailia||Ghana U-20||L 2–1||2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup|
Masango played for the U-23 team, scoring on his debut in the 2–1 win over Zimbabwe to ensure South Africa's qualification for the All Africa Games. The midfielder also scored against Mauritius on 26 May 2011 in a 1–0 friendly win,  and against Botswana in a 5–0 victory on 18 March 2011.
He made his senior debut on 17 July 2013 on the eve of his birthday against Lesotho and was unfortunate having not scored on debut like he did for the junior national teams. He scored in his second match in the 2013 COSAFA Cup 3rd and 4th place playoff on 20 July 2013 against Lesotho. South Africa won 2-1 finishing third with a bronze medal. Masango earned a call-up after his good form for AFCON qualifiers against Nigeria and Sudan. He claimed that his call up was "destiny" and that Sudan was his lucky charm. Masango's first call-up in international football came nine years ago against Sudan when he represented the South Africa Under-17 team in a 2005 Under-17 Youth Championship qualifier. The game was played at the same Al-Merrikh Stadium where South Africa played their 2015 African Nations Cup Group A opener against the Sudan. He played in the 3–0 win over Sudan and 0–0 draw over Nigeria. Masango scored a stunning goal referred to as a "stepback volley" against Ghana in the 2015 African Cup of Nations Group C final clash and made rounds in Spain and has been compared to Colombia's James Rodriguez famous volley in the 2-0 victory over Uruguay in last in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Bleacher Report described the goal as "ridiculous, outrageous and impossibly perfect".
- "FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 – List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). p. 16. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "Soccerway – Mandla Masango". Soccerway. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "Kaizer Chiefs vs. Mpumalanga Black Aces 2 – 0". Soccerway. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "Upbeat Masango focused on Maritzburg challenge". Kaizer Chiefs F.C. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "SA U-23 depart for Benin". South Africa Football Association. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "Masango on target for SA U23". Kaizer Chiefs F.C. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.