Cape Town - Free State Stars defender Daniel Cardoso admits he was pleasantly surprised to make his South Africa debut this week, and credits hard work for his international call up.
Read: Nigeria, history stand in Bafana's way
The centre-back put in a sterling display alongside Thulani Hlatshwayo on Wednesday as Bafana Bafana cruised to a 3-1 victory over Swaziland in an international friendly at the Somhlolo Stadium.
And, Cardoso admits he was blown away to first hear the news he would be traveling with the national team, saying: "I had goosebumps all over my body for about ten minutes. I was very thrilled about it.
"I have been working hard, but I didn't expect the call up because I was injured at the beginning of the season."
He continued: "I never thought it would be so soon. I really thought you have to play for one of the bigger teams to be recognised but it has happened earlier than I anticipated, so hard work really pays off.
"It felt like a dream when I walked out there, seeing a couple of thousand fans, wearing the national team jersey, it’s an amazing experience and for every footballer, young footballer, I am sure they can’t wait to do the same to achieve that goal. It has always been a goal of mine of play for the national team."
Cardoso will now be hoping to earn a second Bafana cap when the team takes on Nigeria in an international friendly at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.