Country's hopes on Bafana's shoulders - Radebe

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pretoria - Former Bafana Bafana skipper, Lucas Radebe, says national soccer team players carry the hopes of the nation on their shoulders..

The 2010 FIFA World Cup ambassador, who is in South America as part of a South Africa Tourism delegation, visited Bafana players at their training camp in Sao Paulo to give them words of advice.

"This is all about belief. Just know that the whole country is behind you," said Radebe..

"This is a dream come true for all of you. Imagine how many footballers are left behind, who wanted to be in your place (base camp)? You are all part of a great team," he said.

The former Kaizer Chiefs and Leeds United captain led Bafana to their debut match at the1998 FIFA World Cup in France and in 2002 in Korea/Japan as the team's skipper.

Last Wednesday, Bafana defeated Ponte Preta 2-1 in a warm-up match.

Preta got their opening goal in the 17th minute, but the 2010 FIFA World Cup host equalised three minutes later through Mamelodi Sundowns star midfielder, Surprise Moriri.

Substitutes, Gert Schalkwyk and Richard Henyekane, worked their magic on the left before Schalkwyk hit the back of the net to give Bafana their fifth victory in Brazil.

Since arriving in Brazil, Bafana have played seven matches, had four wins, drawn two, scored 13 goals and have conceded only one goal.

Bafana will play a tough friendly international match against Paraguay on 31 March in Asuncion, Paraguay.

When the two national teams clashed last year, Moriri was one of the goal scorers who gave Bafana a stunning 3-0 victory. Other goal scorers were Benni McCarthy and Siphiwe Tshabalala of Kaizer Chiefs.