Durban - Bafana Bafana midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala says Seydou Keita is the "best in Africa" as he tries to put his respect for the Mali captain to one side for Saturday's African Cup of Nations quarter-final match.
Tshabalala thinks there is "no doubt" Keita is the top midfielder on the continent and says it will be an honour for South Africans to play against the former Barcelona player in Durban.
"I respect that... but this is business as usual and the pride of the nation is at stake. We will do everything and will make sure that we reach the semi-finals," said Tshabalala.
South Africa hope a sellout home crowd can help them against a Mali team inspired by conflict back home.