Bafana Bafana

Igesund lifts Bafana spirits

2012-09-06 09:06
Gordon Igesund (Gallo)

Johannesburg - New South Africa coach Gordon Igesund has boldly raised the bar for his squad ahead of a friendly against five-time world champions Brazil in Sao Paulo on Friday.

He told footballers who could not beat Ethiopia or Botswana three months ago that they are "as good as any in the world" before his debut as successor to sacked Pitso Mosimane.

Brazil are 62 places above South Africa in the FIFA world rankings released this week and have won the three previous meetings between the countries, all in Johannesburg.

The South Americans came from two goals behind to triumph 3-2 in 1996, won another friendly 2-1 the following year, and a Dani Alves free-kick goal two minutes from time settled a 2009 Confederations Cup semi-final.

But Igesund, a 56-year-old from Indian Ocean city Durban who led a record four clubs to the South African league title, is promising long-suffering Bafana Bafana (The Boys) supporters a lot at Estadio do Morumbi.

He says South Africans will see some new faces, a 4-3-3 system, an emphasis on attack, and 11 passionate South Africans when they watch a live broadcast of a friendly between the 2010 and 2014 World Cup hosts.

"This team will go out there and play for each other, play with passion, play with pride. We are not going to Brazil to be whipping boys - we are going to do our very best.

"We are going to play a new system, we are going to play more attacking football, and I am expecting a lot from these players. We have a team that can fight, a team that can play really well for each other."

Igesund is critical of the influence Brazilian coaches Carlos Alberto Parreira and Joel Santana have had on Bafana Bafana, believing a cautious approach has stifled natural South African talents.

"South Africa have played too defensively," he said of teams coached by 1994 World Cup-winning coach Parreira, Santana and Mosimane during the past five years.

"We defended and then we won possession and then we had to build slowly, slowly to allow our full-backs to get forward because we had no wingers," he explained.

"The team must play much quicker with wingers going past players, fullbacks supporting them, and midfielders linking with strikers. We must play with African flair and use those special gifts our players have."

Igesund chose a mix of 'old guard' and newcomers in a 25-man squad hit by the late injury withdrawals of captain and Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar, defender Anele Ngcongca and striker Siyabonga Nomvethe.

When the replacement for Nomvethe was also injured, Igesund recalled former Champions League final winner Benni McCarthy after a two-year absence despite a former Bafana coach claiming the 34-year-old was "10 kilograms overweight".

Newcomers include fullbacks Kamohelo Mokotjo from Feyenoord and Kgosietsile Ntlhe from Peterborough United, Oldham Athletic midfielder Dean Furman and striker Dino Ndlovu from Maccabi Haifa.

South Africa will host the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations next January and February and Brazil stage the 2013 Confederations Cup during June to prepare for the World Cup a year later.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  gordon igesund  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Sport Talk

 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Vote

Bafana Bafana have qualified but how far will they go at AFCON 2015?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.