Although many have written them off, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it…I think Bafana Bafana (South African national soccer team) will make the Quarter Finals of the upcoming Fifa 2010 World Cup. Here’s why:
- Firstly, even though we are in a tough group with previous winners France and Uruguay, France have it coming – their dodgy qualifying and in fighting should bring their downfall. And Bafana should be able to beat Mexico with the added Vuvuzela support in the opening game.
- I believe in what coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is trying to do. He’s molding a team – guys that believe in each other and don’t go out for their own glory. There’s been much speculation over Benni McCarthy etc etc. So what! It’s about the team, and I’ve no doubt he would’ve performed, but he’s not in the squad and I can respect a coach who’s won the world cup and this will be his 6th tournament – that’s valuable experience.
- We have the players. Our keeper, Itumeleng Khune is brilliant on his day – last years ConFed cup (vs Spain and Brazil) as case in point. Matthew Booth and Aaron Mokoena will marshall the defence solidly, not to mention our captain Mokoena’s experience – 100 caps now. And then there is the midfield. Seriously, do not underestimate the combination of Teko Modise, Steven Pienaar, and Siphiwe Tshabalala. Pienaar in particular is right up there with some of the best. And Tshabalala on the set pieces can be deadly. Modise seems to be finding his form again which is fantastic for the team! And our strike force (the weakest of the team at present) has a goal hungry Bernard Parker in waiting.
- Anything can happen in the knock out stages. It’s not about individuals, yes they can be game changers (Zidane, Baggio, Romario, etc), but it comes down to a team effort.
- Never underestimate the power of home crowd support – especially the South African home crowd – see Rugby World Cup ’95, Africa Cup of Nations ’96, Super 14 Final 2009 and 2010.
So go for it Bafana Bafana! I’m behind you! Make us proud.