By Jaco van der Merwe - Beeld
SA not up for world stage
Johannesburg – Bafana Bafana have major problems. The national soccer team’s shortcomings were exposed for the second time in the last two months when Portugal smashed them 2-0 in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday night.
A number of friendly games against top sides are being planned in the build-up to next year’s World Cup.
However, the games will serve no purpose if Bafana are not up to it. Against Portugal the national team was just as much out of its depth as in the recent defeat to Chile.
Even if Joel Santana is sacked as coach, it won’t solve Bafana’s problems. Their players are simply not good enough to compete against the world’s best.
The world’s top players all compete in the European leagues. Only four of the players in the current Bafana group – captain Aaron Mokoena, Benni McCarthy, Steven Pienaar and Nasief Morris – play in the top leagues such as England, Spain and Italy.
Mokoena and McCarthy are not frequent starters at Blackburn Rovers in England, while Morris’s Spanish club Recreativo Huelva is on the verge of relegation.
No less than 12 of Portugal’s players compete in the three richest European leagues. And then it’s for top clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Juventus.