Cafu impressed by Bafana

2010-03-03 10:34
Johannesburg - Former Brazil captain Cafu is confident that South Africa will make it to the "last 16" of the World Cup after witnessing the team first hand at a training session at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday night.

Carlos Alberto Parreira, who coached the legendary defender during his time with the Selecao, unveiled the former Milan and Roma man to his squad much to the delight of the South Africa players, who are preparing to face Namibia on Wednesday.

Cafu, who enjoyed his interaction with the Bafana players, predicted that the 2010 World Cup hosts would impress at the quadrennial showpiece.

"I was impressed by Bafana. It was an amazing experience for me. I reckon Bafana will get into the knockout phase of the World Cup on home soil," he said.

Cafu is Brazil's most capped Brazil player of all time with 142 appearances and played in four successive World Cup, lifting the trophy as captain in 2002. He believes South Africa deserve to host the World Cup and backed the country to deliver a special tournament when the World cup kicks off on June 11.

"I believe that South Africa will produce one of the best World Cup events ever," he continued.

Bafana right back Anele Ngcongca admitted he was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to play alongside the Brazilian legend.

The Belgium based Ngcongca said: "It was an honour to be on the same pitch as Cafu. It was a fantastic experience for me. I got as big lift."

The Racing Genk defender is set to start against Namibia with Bryce Moon starting on the bench if Parreira's formation at Tuesday's session was anything to go by.

Ngcongca added: "I am playing regularly for my club and hope to get a run against Namibia. It is every players wish to play at the World Cup. My confidence is sky high and I am playing regularly for my club in Belgium and keen to do well for Bafana if the coach selects me."

Moon, who plays for Greek side POAK, said he was fighting fit and keen to get back into the Bafana set-up and fight for his World Cup place: "If I get the chance against Namibia I will grab the opportunity with both hands."

German-based veteran Bradley Carnell is optimistic about his Bafana World Cup chances and his hopes of making the World Cup squad.

The Hansa Rostock star said: "It is brilliant being called back to Bafana after injuries derailed me last year. At 33 I still have a lot to offer my country. I am ready and willing to fight for my place. I will use every opportunity to slip back into the squad.

"Playing at the World Cup is my ultimate goal."

Carnell was also is awed by the presence of Cafu and admitted he was overjoyed at being able to train with him.

He concluded: "He was one of the greatest players of all time and being a defender it was fantastic just being on the same pitch as him." 

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