Bafana Bafana

Igesund lauds superb Neymar

2014-03-06 14:32
Gordon Igesund (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Having watched on as Brazilian star Neymar netted an emphatic hat-trick against Bafana Bafana in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Gordon Igesund has heaped praise on the wunderkind.

The 22-year-old netted either side of half-time with two outstanding touches, before completing his rout of the hosts in the last minute of the game.

“Neymar … you can only appreciate him when you watch him on the field live like we did tonight,” Igesund said after the game at FNB Stadium.

“Sometimes you watch him play for Barcelona and you think he’s a good player, but tonight you could really see his quality.

“You can see he’s in a different league completely. He’s a fantastic player - the way he gets the ball, looks at how to find the spaces for himself, how he creates situation - he’s very intelligent.

"He runs with pace and great skill and caused us many problems.”

The Brazilians inflicted a 5-0 massacre on their hosts, the heaviest defeat ever for South Africa, prompting Igesund to say Brazil were simply the better team.

“We’ve got to acknowledge that we were beaten by a very good team tonight. They were absolutely outstanding,” Igesund said.

“Their striking force is outstanding and their ability to eliminate players with speed and precision.

“When you look at their team, for example, they take off Marcelo from Real Madrid and they bring on Dani Alves from Barcelona.

“Then they take off David Luiz from Chelsea and they bring on Dante from Bayern Munich.

"They’ve got so much depth and quality in their team.”

Speaking of Bafana's goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who earned his first international cap on Wednesday, Igesund said he was pleased with the SuperSport United shot-stopper.

“Like many players out there, he learnt lots of lessons tonight.

“Ronwen has been playing well for his club. When you call him a youngster, he’s been playing for four years in the Premiership and I just thought he needed his opportunity.

“They learnt lessons and that’s what it’s about. When you play a team like Brazil, put them in there and let them see and let them learn from it.”

The result put further pressure on the 57-year-old Igesund, whose contract expires after the 2014 Fifa World Cup in July, when his deal will be up for review.

Igesund, however, insists Bafana played a totally different calibre of team compared with the Spanish side shocked into a 1-0 defeat by South Africa in November last year.

“We’re working towards something. The difference between us, of course, is when they [Brazil] got their opportunities, they took them.

“Against Spain - we watch teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid and these teams on a regular basis and sometimes they can become a little bit predictable.

“I think the big difference between Spain and Brazil, was that Brazil tonight were excellent. I think they wanted to show the world that they’re going to be the favourites to win the World Cup.”

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  gordon igesund  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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