Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana will face their toughest test yet under coach Gordon Igesund when they welcome Spain for an international friendly at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Kickoff is at 21:00.
The World and double European champions represent the apex of international football and will be returning to the scene of their greatest triumph, having claimed the 2010 FIFA World Cup at the iconic Soccer City venue.
Spain will be without several key players who were central to their 2010 triumph, most notably Xavi, Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso, but in the likes of Andres Iniesta, Juan Mata and Iker Casillas they still boast some of the finest players in the business.
Yet the galaxy of stars available to La Roja coach Vicente del Bosque does not intimidate Igesund, who firmly believes that his side will be capable of defeating the Europeans.
“We will try to entertain but the main objective is to win, and I believe they are also coming here to enjoy themselves and also try to win the game,” said Igesund.
Bafana Bafana warmed up for this clash with a comfortable 3-0 win over Swaziland on Friday, though that was with an all locally-based team.
The visit of Spain has seen South Africa call on their finest overseas-based players to boost their chances of causing an upset.
Midfielder Dean Furman is one such example, and he shares his coach’s confidence in Bafana’s abilities, arguing that the chance to play against the highest calibre of opponents will only help them improve as a team.
“It is a big test for us, we want to see how far we have come as a team and we want to keep progressing, and there is no better way to do that than to play against world champions,” said the Doncaster Rovers-based player.
“We don’t want to sit back the whole match but we will take the game to them and show what we also have because we have exciting attacking players and we want them to express themselves on the night.”
Spain defeated Equatorial Guinea 2-1 on Saturday, a result Igesund shrugged off as irrelevant to Tuesday night’s match.
“You can’t read too much into these results because the teams are trying out players. Many thought we will go out there and beat Swaziland seven or 9-0, but the gap between the so-called big guns and so-called minnows is closing rapidly and there are no more easy games,” added the Bafana coach.